Tulip FeverDVD - 2017
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Before you were born, Amsterdam was captivated by a flower. The tulip.
They came from far away, in the East, and were so rare and beautiful, for people lost their senses in wanting to own them. Rich and poor were spending and borrowing money to join the trade in bulbs, which were going up in price ail the time. None more so than the rare striped tulips that were called breakers. A new breaker came from nowhere, like an act of God, and it changed people's lives. A white flower with a God-given crimson stripe turned our lives upside down, mine and my mistress Sophia's.
If the market keeps going up, why is anybody selling anything if it's going to double in a month? Then we can get in early on a bulb that might triple in a month!
-But it can't go on forever, can it?
Oh, it can! Why not? Why can't it? Mr. De Bye!
-I call it the theory of the greater fool.
Our Dutch republic is the richest nation on Earth. Supply and demand, that's how it goes...
- Peppercorns or portraits, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, Chinese porcelain,
and all more reliable than tulip bulbs. But, of course, my best investment was my Sophia here.
"Vanity, vanity, all is vanity."
-But where would portrait painters be without a little bit of vanity?
For all flesh is grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass...
That's the color of blue the Italian masters used for the mother of Jesus. Do you know why they dressed the Virgin in blue?
-Because it's the color of purity.
Because it's the color which cost the most. Oltremarino. Blue from over the sea. From a blue stone mined in one place only and far away.
I don't like him.
-You're a whirligig of reasons.
-Well, he's an artist. But, look, I can pay him off, we get another. There's no lack of artists in Amsterdam.
What is this place?
- A convent.
We're stealing from nuns?
-They don't belong to the nuns. They belong to... the pope.
Oh, I don't mind stealing from the pope.
He has found you, Sophia. As for Cornelis... With an older man like Cornelis, a likeness might be too much of a good thing. Too much of "winter and spring" about it.
We take them in off the streets, feed them, school them, and send them out to fend for themselves as kitchen maids, scullery maids... They find husbands, or worse, or remain here as novices.
But while the blooms had faded, the paintings remained.
-You have brought her to life.
Only to torment me the more by knowing she's dead.
-You know that, Mr. Van Loos?
Yes. She drowned herself.
-We cannot say we know more than we can know. Leave the rest to God. He doesn't like mopers.
So Sophia realized there was no going back, and no way forward. She saw too late it was a trap she had laid for herself, and she had been better dead.
She was driven by madness. We all were.
The Admiral Maria is not a snapdragon. It's a 2,000 florin tulip bulb. (per wiki: 'Admiral Verijck' or 'van der Eijck', an extinct Dutch broken tulip from 1637.)
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