Articles & Step By Step Tutorials

Learn new design styles and discover new techniques with these articles from Floral Focus magazines, and step by step tutorials.

A Passion for Period - Byzantine

Styles Tutorials


by Elizabeth Konig

To floral artists today this Period is best known for the Byzantine Cone. This cone shaped design, always stylised, was constructed of foliage, flowers, fruit and ribbon in repetitive spiral patterns.

The Byzantine Empire formed in 325AD when the former Roman Empire divided in two and the Eastern half was centred in the capital, Constantinople, today known as Istanbul. Almost all Byzantine Art was religious in origin - and this was seen in mosaics, paintings and manuscripts. The Byzantines loved to use ribbons, winding them into the manes of their horses and spiralling round their foliage and flower cones.

The Persian King, Darius I, had no less than fifty flower growers and florists attached to his household. Foliages included Cypress, Bay and Laurel, Ivy, Myrtle, Rosemary, Pine and vines. The jewel coloured flowers included roses in rich tones and blue and purple flowers. Lilies, daisies and carnations were also used. The gilded Acanthus leaves could be seen curled and curved through many designs. The use of fruit which was also evident in their art included grapes, olives, citrus, apples, pears and peaches

The traveller today may still see the wonderful rich colour used in their art, especially in the Iznik tiles in the Blue Mosque. The oldest of these tiles feature flowers, trees and abstract patterns.

In Floral Period design, perhaps the cone shape that we best know this period by, may come from the six gold tipped minarets that stand aloft this amazing mosque. The rich colours of blue, aquamarine, scarlet red, viridian green and gold can be seen in their mosaics.

Blue mosaics inside the Blue Mosque, Istanbul

A portico tiled in viridian green
mosaics and accented by gold.

Perhaps the inspiration for the cone?



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