Anne Robinson, Karen Saxby
“In life everything except the cultivation of orchids must have a purpose,” as Nero Wolfe liked to say, the witty detective specializing in solving intricate murder cases, created by American writer Rex Stout. An incorrigible gourmet, fussy and irascible, Nero Wolfe had one very great passion: a passion for orchids. Bewitching, sensual, disturbing, these plants, whose natural species number over 25,000, have forever sparked overwhelming loves. Cartier took inspiration from the exquisite blossoms of the Phalaenopsis to create a precious collection of jewels. The volcanic British stylist Vivienne Westwood mixes them extravagantly, in the living room of her home, with paintings and books. One of the most prestigious fashion houses in France, Van Cleef & Arpels, chose one, the Vanilla fragrans, for its very famous and unmistakable perfume. Illustrious personages, artists, and adventurers, dressed in the garb of enterprising plant hunters, have gone round the world in search of them, bringing them back to the West. Important entrepreneurs have become fanatic collectors of them... It is not unusual, then, for even a master photographer like Fabio Petroni to be so deeply struck: he decided to portray them in still-lifes, to present us with close-ups, macros, and details of great charm and appeal.