A beautiful rose, a white lily, a weed, a morning glory, an orchid—all are charmingly decorative to the average viewer. For painters of the Gothic, Early Renaissance and High Renaissance eras, flowers were part of a rich visual symbolism. In a culture of restricted literacy symbolic imagery was vital in helping to spiritually enlighten the rabble. Narrative paintings, with their layer upon layer of vivid symbolism, provided instruction to the uneducated peasants who craved scriptural guidance. According to Charles Baudelaire “The whole visible universe is but a storehouse of images and signs to which the imagination will give a relative place and value; it is a sort of pasture which the imagination must digest and transform.” This beautiful painting by English master A. Bridge features not only four individual flower pots with flowers of different appearances, but also a straw basket of what appears to be golden apples towards the fore. Bridge’s use of light and dark, in his portrayal of the shadows playing on the flowers, is mesmerising, and the artist captivates the viewer’s attention with the bright variation between the rich red, glowing white and shining yellows of the plants.