Fair in silvery light
Like saintly vestals, pale in prayer;
Their pure breath sanctifies the air,
As its fragrance fills the night.
Found painted on the walls of ancient Greek palaces, the lily has always been regarded as one of the oldest flowers in the world.
Legend has it that the first lily sprang up from the tears dropped by Eve when she left the Garden of Eden.
On account of their strong fragrance, lilies were favored long ago as flowers for the dead. It was claimed that on the third day after a burial they would begin to grow of their own accord if the deceased had been an innocent person. Not until the era of Dutch still lives did painters dare to portray lilies in a more worldly way and to include them in elaborate floral arrangements.