There’s a new set of posters on the railings at the entrance gate to Łazienki. They draw our eyes, my daughter’s and mine, because they are fine botanical drawings. First we discover that they come from an exhaustive atlas in fifty one volumes of all plants native to Denmark and Norway , published between 1761 and 1883. We are a bit mystified about their presence here until we read on and discover that a porcelain dinner service was made based on the illustrations in the Flora Danica. It was intended as a present for Catherine the Great. When she died, the Danish Royal family kept it for their own use. Now, as part of the Gardens of Light project, it’s laid out on a table in the Palace on the Isle in Łazienki, just as it would have been during a dinner hosted by the monarch in the nineteenth century.
The 1800-piece dinner and dessert service was created in the royal porcelain factory in Denmark between 1790 and 1820. The porcelain figurines represent peasants from different regions of Norway. Flora Danica tableware is till being made, still with meticulous attention to the placement of the images.