Tulips have an interesting history. They were first popularized and commercialized by the Ottoman Turks in and before the 16th century. They were eventually introduced to Europe through the studies of a highly regarded 16th century botanist, Carolus Clusius. Hired by the University of Leiden, he brought his collection of bulbs which he was studying for possible medicinal use. The decorative aspect of tulips, however, made them wildly popular with the wealthy, which raised their prices, which made them popular with traders, and which produced the economic chaos known as Tulipomania. Once the dust settled, the Netherlands was well on its way to becoming the European center for production and hybridizing of the tulip. This image is a crop from another image from the same session as http://karla.aminus3.com/image/2011-02-08.html. The background here is a dyed and spray-painted piece of muslin, sunlit from a window to the right.
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