Foliage

A universal motif across many ancient civilizations, exhibiting the decorative vision of nature, foliage is particularly common in ceramic decoration such as Greek or Chinese and one of the prominent motifs of architectural elements’ decoration, such as friezes. This motif most probably recalls the opulent power of nature and was also associated by the Greeks to Dionysian scenes, where the primitive and chaotic power connected to the earth took over the rational will of men. Foliage decoration was also much employed by the Chinese to embellish their blue and white porcelain and during the Middle Ages it was one of the most common decorative motifs used on manuscripts, which represent one of the most beautiful, delicate yet very precise and neat examples of this type of decoration.