Traditionally the vibrant red poppy was a popular emblem of country life and summer’s richness. Fields of poppies were a favored scene of Impressionist Claude Monet, as in this painting “Coquelicots,or Poppies Near Argenteuil” (1873).
Because of its narcotic properties, the poppy is sometimes used as a symbol of sleep, oblivion, or indifference. The Minoan poppy goddess wears the poppy seed capsules, a source of narcosis, in garlands in her hair. In ancient Roman mythology, Somnus, the god of sleep, is always crowned with poppies or lying surrounded by them.
In Christian art, the poppy is used in depictions of the Passion of Christ or as a reference to sleep or death. In the Greek Orthodox church, crimson poppies represent the blood of Christ on the cross on his journey to Golgotha.
The significance of the poppy as a lasting memorial symbol to the fallen was realised by the Canadian surgeon John McCrae in his poem In Flanders Fields. The poppy came to represent the immeasurable sacrifice made by his comrades and quickly became a lasting memorial to those who died in World War One and later conflicts. It was adopted by The Royal British Legion as the symbol for their Poppy Appeal, in aid of those serving in the British Armed Forces, after its formation in 1921.
In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2014. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
COSTANTINO (54419) 2014-06-29 2:10
Hello dear friend
pleasant and fresh colorful poppies carpet
according to your useful notes traditionally
the vibrant red poppy was a popular emblem of
this picture changes everybody s mood
I liked your phrase In Christian art
the poppy is used in depictions of
the Psssion of Christ
have a nice Sunday
lousat (75518) 2014-06-29 2:14
Hi Rosemary,not easy to take a lot of poppies with these detail,a great mix of green and red very well saturated and creating a magic contrast with the dark green of the hill in background,excellent work,i like it! Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano
emka (77336) 2014-06-29 2:18
I noticed that in England, and also in Australia, everywhere the war memorials had some poppies wreaths. The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino is one of the best-known Polish military songs of World War II. It was composed in May 1944 in Italy, during the Battle of Monte Cassino, on the eve of the Polish Army's capture of the German stronghold.
On 18 May 1944, the day following the song's composition, the Poles stormed and captured the precincts of the Monte Cassino monastery. Later that day, the song was first performed at General Anders' headquarters to celebrate the Polish victory. The Red Poppies on Monte Cassino won popularity with the troops and was soon published by a Polish-American newspaper in New York. It would later be published in Poland. It was banned, however, during the Stalinist period in the People's Republic of Poland, when the government sought to minimize memory of the wartime Polish Armed Forces in the West. It is featured, however, in Andrzej Wajda's film Ashes and Diamonds, made in 1958, after the death of Stalin.
But in Poland it has also other significance. The poppy seeds are a symbol of prosperity, maybe because there are so many, so the poppy cake is a must for Christmas and New Year. I hope you will find this long comment interesting.
Wonderful photo, like from impressionist painting.
Warm regrads Malgo
snunney (82519) 2014-06-29 2:36
The blood red poppies look lovely against the duo-green tone background. I like the composition and framing very much, the tree makes a fine focal point of the whole. Nicely composed and benefiting from an agreeable ambient light and very good sharpness. Very interesting commentary about the symbolism of the poppy; the strange thing is there is no real association in France between the poppy and the First World War. Seems to be a very British thing and obviously in the former colonies who fought along side.
timecapturer (47980) 2014-06-29 2:55
this has to be viewed large to get the real effect and presence of this amazing scene. It is a real gem of a shot and your execution flawless. The poignancy and significance of these little red flowers that bloom in abundance and yet so fleetingly is one that pervades this image so beautifully. Love it!
Enjoy your Sunday - B.
CLODO (30058) 2014-06-29 3:14
Theu are always eye catching, moreover when they are in a green meadow, their color contrasting so well. Here, you've also included a dark green forest and a lonely tree to fix the eye.
siudzi (33065) 2014-06-29 3:41
What a lovely landscape post fully filled by green and red tones of nature! You composed the scene so smartly to achieve a fantastic visual effect. Love it!
trevormoffiet (3110) 2014-06-29 5:01
Quite beautiful this image. I love the predominance of greens with the red poppies and just a slight touch of lilac interspersed through the red. A terrific landscape that soothes the soul.
Sergiom (58652) 2014-06-29 5:22
J'ai eu le grand plaisir de me promener dans la campagne italienne dans la saison des coquelicots.Quel charme ils apportent au paysage. Une belle tache de rouge dans toute cette verdure.
Nicou (120376) 2014-06-29 6:31
Quelle vue ce chmsps de cuquelicots roges en premier plan ces dex arbres vert et en fod un tableau végetatif superbe,
Bravo et amitié
eldancer1 (27169) 2014-06-29 6:52
You must feel like you were in flower heaven! Awesome capture of this field of flowers with good lighting and wonderful colors. Well done, tfs.
marabu61 (8145) 2014-06-29 7:31
Who could resist the charm of the poppy in summer meadow. They are just such pleasant flowers and add so much charm and color to a landscape. Here, set amongst the dark green of the woods behind they come out especially well and the tiny dots of mauve from some other flowers add an intriguing splash of color.
have a great sunday
holmertz (40055) 2014-06-29 8:04
Wild poppies, my favourite weed - but not for personal use, only for watching :-). Looking at the poppies growing along the tracks can brighten the dullest train journey. Here you found a perfect balance of green tones to complement the red of the flowers.
Noel_Byrne (23252) 2014-06-29 8:06
Such a beautiful scene, and I love how you composed it to fill the entire lower half with the bright red poppies, and the peeping blue flowers, while above he vibrant and lush greens. Is not easy to make a scene like this beautiful without including any sky, this is a great example of the art.
Thanks also for your fascinating note. I am aware of the narcotic values of poppies, but I learn a lot from your note about its symbolism in various religions. That's for that, I learned something new today :)
williewhistler (13735) 2014-06-29 11:33
poppies are a very topical subject at the moment and quite rightly so,here you have managed to capture them in their natural environment in a lovely light with the darkened trees making a good BG.
I also enjoy the well placed sunlit tree, an impressive piece of composition.
Kind regards Les.
chrislo (4153) 2014-06-29 14:17
Like many artists before (Monet, Van Gogh, Cézanne...), you've been inspired by the poppies growing in the fields. This is a very eye-catching shot of these bright colourful flowers standing out strikingly in the green grass. You definitely captured the freshness and beauty of spring, and this was just enough to make a very beautiful timeless picture. Well spotted and beautifully presented.
carlo62 (31380) 2014-06-29 15:34
quanti argomenti e quante riflessioni hanno creato questi papaveri.
Sei una vera cultrice di questo fiore, ricordo che li hai notati subito dopo che ci siamo conosciuti, mentre viaggiavamo verso Pisa.
Questa foto non ha molto da invidiare ai dipinti di Monet, certo lui li ha creati dal niente, ma l'effetto visivo è molto simile. Una bella foto che ritrae la natura che tu ami molto, tuo marito è stato un buon autista e ti ha guidato nei luoghi giusti.
Un saluto a entrambi
jjcordier (75620) 2014-06-29 23:01
Ton champ de coquelicots est plus beau qu'un Monet! Superbe photo!
papagolf21 (85432) 2014-06-30 0:06
Bonjour, chère Rosemary,
Un ravissement total à travers cette très belle composition.
Ce champ de coquelicots est de toute beauté sur ce camaïeu de vert.
Très belle réussite.
dkmurphys (48446) 2014-06-30 1:38
Superb colors of the field. Perfect saturation made by nature!
Well taken, enjoy a fine new week.
miumiu (5837) 2014-06-30 5:23
Very lovely title and landscape!
l love the poppies in the vivid green grass.
rychem (22179) 2014-06-30 20:19
My favorite flowers, great view of this field with poppies, fantastic color combination of green and red, compliments
Mics (687) 2014-06-30 20:31
Wow, I love this one, very pleasant to the senses.
Have a nice day,
Cricri (105249) 2014-07-01 4:19
Un beau vert frai couper par les touches rouges des fleurs, un merveilleux contraste et une très belle présentation
saxo042 (37268) 2014-07-01 7:44
Very beautiful lines in different colours, the tree against the darkest line breaks the monotony and and adds an attractive detail. The red poppies look very fine here.
delpeoples (52999) 2014-07-02 4:48
Ahhh is this Castelluccio or another part of Umbria? It is very beautiful and reminds me a lot of our Silvio's photos of his realm, the Plains of Castelluccio. I love the simplicity and minimalism of this shot. The profusion of the flowers create a wonderful graphism and I like the way you have composed the shot. The light is ethereal. Thanks for sharing, have a lovely day.
ChrisJ (96610) 2014-07-02 15:04
The red poppies contrast well against the green. I saw opium poppies growing in Afyon Turkey, yesterday, but they are white. You live and learn. I like the well lit bg tree against the dark shadowed bg. Nice graphic elements and good sharpness. Tfs!
abmdsudi (42594) 2014-07-06 11:24
Glorious! The burst of sparkling red poppies within green surroundings steal the show creating a stunning image from every angle and perspective. It's bright and sunny which bring lots of joy to the scenic & peaceful landscape. It's always a pleasure to view and your fine photo work - is simply flawless, Congrats.
rigoletto (34255) 2014-07-20 4:05
hi dear rosemary. now this is a photo claude monet would have loved to take, if he ever had a camera instead of oil, brush and canvas :) i love how the slight saturation of colors give a very bright outlook to it, and pop out the charm of red poppies inside green grass. the exclusion of the sky and the presence of the lonely tree increase the effectiveness of your composition.