Above, from left to right: Detail of a potted lily of the valley forced for early display in Cuxa cloister; Detail of the tapestry The Queen of Sheba before King Solomon from Two Riddles of the Queen of Sheba; Lily of the valley fruiting in Bonnefont Garden in late summer.
I am the flower of the field,
And the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns, so is
My love among the daughters.
—Canticle of Canticles (Song of Songs) 2:1-2
The lily and the rose are the chief adornments of the allegorical hortus conclusus, the enclosed garden of the Virgin rooted in the language of the Song of Songs in the Old Testament. Read more »