The roses have been cultivated for at least 5000 years. The current varieties of roses were obtained by successive hybridizations, from ancestors whose origin is lost in time. Symbol of the noblest feelings and love, the rose was sacred to Venus. The myth says that, from sea foam, from which the goddess was born, a thorny bush arose that, sprayed by the nectar of the gods, made bloom white roses. The Christian tradition associated the flower with the image of the Virgin Mary. According to an ancient legend, before the fall of man, the rose had no thorns and the Virgin was called rose without a thorn for not being tainted by original sin.
The rose is the flower of greater predilection and the one that has been most sung by poets, symbol of love and kindness, is considered the queen of flowers. Among its essences the rose oil must be emphasized, discovered by Nur Jahan, wife of the Mongol Jahangir, who obtained it by distillation of the petals. The art of distilling rose petals was introduced to the West by the Arabs in the tenth century. Along with other flowers, it appears in descriptions of the gardens of the caliph, collected in The Thousand and One Nights.
In the nineteenth century the roses enjoy broad presence as an ornamental plant in the Alcázar, aligning those on the margins of passable roads that used to be more used during walks in the gardens. Forestier, designer of the Maria Luisa Park, supports the rose with pictorial arguments: always handle the shape and color of flowers, of contrasts and harmonies, and the background on which they go. Forestier was an admirer of the Impressionists and thus understood the roses as strokes of multiple colors, floating in the air. Also the Spanish painter close to impressionism, Joaquín Sorolla, devoted some of his paintings to the roses when he visited the gardens of the Real Alcázar.