Plate II Coburn, Alvin Langdon  (American, 1882-1966)

The second of Maeterlinck’s four celebrated nature essays, The Intelligence of Flowers represents his impassioned attempt to popularize scientific knowledge for an international audience. Writing with characteristic eloquence, Maeterlinck asserts that flowers possess the power of thought without knowledge, a capacity that constitutes a form of intelligence. The four plates illustrating this small book are well printed green-toned photogravure images by Coburn taken in a formal garden.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Foster, Sheila J, Manfred Heiting, and Rachel Stuhlman. Imagining Paradise: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House, Rochester. Göttingen: Steidl, 2007 p. 223.

Coburn, Alvin L, Karl Steinorth, Nancy Newhall, and Anthony Bannon. Alvin Langdon Coburn – Photographs, 1900-1924. Zürich: Stemmle, 1998. Plate 123.

MET Accession Number: 1975.628

The Phillips Collection


Maeterlinck, Maurice. The Intelligence of Flowers. 179, [1] pp. 8vo., 204 x 127 mm, New York: Dodd Mead & Co., 1907. Illustrated with four evocative photogravures by Coburn.