Mortimer Menpes



Source: Japan, A Record in Colour, facing p. 112

"The art of arranging flowers is an exact science, in the study of which seven years of constant hard work finds a man but fairly proficient. In fact, to create a really fine arrangement is just as difficult as to paint an equally fine picture" (116). Devoting a whole chapter to the subject, Menpes was convinced that the Japanese had brought this art to perfection, and that the bouquets of flowers favoured by Westerners were not "natural" but simply crude in comparison (commentary continues below). — Jacqueline Banerjee

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