Rudolf Steiner painted his “Archetypal Plant” watercolor in 1924,
when contemporary scientific methodologies were emerging and
nature was being examined under the microscope. In contrast to
the dissecting, analytical tendencies of natural science,
however, Steiner’s painting depicts the living, dynamic potential
behind the plant—lifting us out of the specific genus and providing
an image of the growing, formative forces inherent within each
Researching Steiner’s painting of the archetypal plant can help
reconnect our outer sense perceptions with the inner realm of
imaginative cognition, aiding our release from the spell of
matter. To support and enliven such research work and processes,
Angela Lord surveys her subject from various aspects,
including the historical, evolutionary relationships we share
with plants; representations of plants in art and architecture;
plant myths and legends; poetry inspired by flower imagery;
cosmic aspects of nature, including Earth’s relationships to the
Sun, Moon, planets, and stars; formative, creative forces of
colors and their relationships to plant forms; and, finally,
working artistically and painting the archetypal plant motif itself.
In developing a broad overview, the author forms a deeper, more complete
picture of the plant world, paying homage to its diverse characteristics, and
stimulating new perceptions and perspectives.
The Archetypal Plant is richly illustrated with full-color images.