Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Quatrefoil ...

"Q" is for Quatrefoil ...

Etymologically, the word quatrefoil means "four leaves", and applies to general four-lobed shapes in various contexts.  When is the last time you wished on a four leaf clover?  Did you know you were wishing on a quatrefoil?


In heraldic terminology, a quatrefoil is a representation of a flower with four petals, or a leaf with four leaflets such as a four leaf clover.

The quatrefoil became popular during the Gothic revival and Renaissance era, but can still be seen on countless churches and cathedrals.  Most often they are at the top of a Gothic arch with stained glass.  Lorenzo Ghiberti crafted a very famous quatrefoil made of bronze panels, which is displayed on the north doors of the Baptistery in Florence, Italy.


This is a close up of the gorgeous panels.


In architecture and traditional Christian symbolism, a quatrefoil is a symmetrical shape which forms the overall outline of four partially-overlapping circles of the same diameter.


Do you have a favorite quatrefoil?  Mine would be the four leaf clover, a well-known symbol of good luck.  According to legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden.  The odds of finding a four leaf clover is estimated 10,000 to 1.  Have you ever found one?  As a little girl I spent many hours looking for one!

What do the four leaves symbolize?  One leaf is for HOPE ... the second for FAITH ... the third for LOVE ... and the fourth for LUCK!

Thank you for stopping to visit me this week.  I am linking with Ms. Jenny for Alphabe-Thursday.  I'm curious to see what words the other participants have submitted.

20 comments:

Mary said...

The 4-Leaf Clover would be my favorite quatrefoil too~ especially this week :) Happy St. Paddy's Day~

Two Blondes said...

very clever! I always looked for four leaf clovers when I was a little girl..never found one!

EG CameraGirl said...

Oh! I haven't looked for a four-leaf clover in a long, long time! I could sure use some good luck. (Can't we all?)

Happy St. Paddy's Day!

Carrie Sampsel said...

My boys and I look for four leaf clovers all the time. I do have one I found a long long time ago and I think I wrapped it and stuck it in a book.

Vicki said...

Donna, I did not know that I was wishing on a quatrefoil when wishing upon a four leaf clover!! I think you were very creative and clever in your post today, friend! Very informative and I really learned a great deal! Have a happy day! Vicki

Donna said...

Hi Donna,

I remember as a child, warm summer afternoons laying on the lawn and looking through the clover grass for 4 leaf clover! Sometimes I think we had more fun talking away the hours than we cared about the clover, other times we would find many to see who were the lucky ones!

Thanks for the memories!

Blessings,
Donna

JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love it in building. What a wonderful design element i t makes!

Dana @ Bungalow'56 said...

What perfect timing so close to St.Patrick's day. It is still a past time for my girls to look for four leaf clovers. Now I can tell them what the leaves stand for.
Dana

anitamombanita said...

That was an original! Very interesting.

Jenny Schouten Short said...

I had forgotten the use of the quatrafoil in art. Nice blog. xo Jenny

Eric and Karen said...

Thanks for sharing this interesting post. I used to search, and find, four leafed clovers. Now my daughter searches for them at her Granny's before she mows the grass, and yes, she is usually lucky at finding them. Have a happy St. Pat's Day!

Braggin' Rights Bath & Spa said...

Those are gorgeous.... I just got a shamrock from my husband yesterday- reminded me of that... Love the intricate details of these!

Teresa said...

I love four leafed clovers. I've never found one, but I did inherit one from my aunt.

VBR said...

Beautiful illustrations for the Q challenge. Looking at old buildings and the intricate little treasure hidden amongs the carvings on them is a little hobby of mine. And, honestly, I think the four leaf clover wins hands down as the best and favorite quatrefoil!

Lola said...

Visiting from Mrs Matlock’s, did enjoy your *Q* post – wonderful illustrations!

Have a great Alphabe-Thursday and weekend too.

Cheryl said...

Donna, Very interesting! Love the beautiful architectural images. I have to admit, I learned something new. Thank you! lol!

Esther Joy said...

My favorite would be the 4 leaf clover, too.

And Thanks for teaching me a new word!

bluegrassnotes said...

Very interesting and lovely photos too!

Jenny said...

Donna, this was a really neat link for the letter 'Q'.

I've heard the word quatrefoil but I didn't know the meaning of the four parts.

How inspiring.

I will remember this whenever I see a four leaf clover now.

Thanks for quite a lovely link this week.

A+

Ann said...

You found the lucky 4 leaf clover? Happy birthday to your husband. That's lucky or blessed to have a husband. So many women don't have a husband. In our news yesterday. Older women who don't have husbands say they were frown on.

I was just looking at my garden with 3 leaf plants. I have yet to find a 4 leaf one.

I love your plants and your creative work. I am following you, that it why I came to this post.

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