A dramatically illustrated book of flower designs from all over the world, which characterizes their distinctive features and points up contrasts and variations. Marein looks at the precise artistry of Chinese and Japanese works, the stylized forms of Persia and India, the realistic renderings of European Renaissance craftsmen. She devotes short chapters to popular favorites--the rose, the iris--and discusses interpretive aspects--design principles, color complementarity, textural factors. Illustrations include handwork from a staggering number of times and places: tapestries, embroideries, Aubusson weaving, linoleum and wood block prints, photographs of actual flowers, batik prints, Philippine pina cloth, sketches, brush paintings, Matisse cutouts, a squash blossom necklace--every page has at least one representation. A striking assemblage, in black-and-white throughout and a full-color inset, with a text that touches on the significance of changing styles and warmly encourages further investigation.