Flowers of Stone – Lisboa Green Capital 2020

Flowers of Stone

04 December 2020 a 01 October


During the 19th century, the Language of Flowers was commonly known and used in various contexts to convey messages, emphasize feelings, or share emotions. At the same time, Death was an important moment in social and economic life, with the new romantic cemeteries appearing all over Europe and America, full of beautiful monuments.
The combination of these two concepts resulted in a variety of stone flowers within the cemeteries: garlands, floral decorations, colored stained glass windows, small souvenirs. With time and the inherent underlying cultural changes, we have lost the ability to understand the meaning of these flowers and, in many cases, even the ability to recognize them.
To recover the key to understanding the messages left in our cemeteries by our ancestors, we have combined specialized knowledge of botany with cemetery symbology, allowing us to identify the plants of the tombstones that have come to us and unveil their meanings.
Promises of eternal love, professions of faith, swears of fidelity, sighs of nostalgia, were etched in stone forever, reaching us with the same affection and sorrow with which they were chosen.
To know these messages is to understand the past better, to strengthen our connection with those who came before us, to get closer to people we did not get to know but who are part of our personal and collective history.