Flowers in Art

Gustav Klimt

In my eye some of Klimt’s best paintings are of nature, though they are far less reproduced than his figurative paintings. There is something eastern in the way in which he has dealt with the subject matter – like a richly textured, many hued carpet. Quite magical.

Jan Van Huysum

Whistler

What a glorious attire!The Japanese influence on European artists of the late nineteenth century was strong, and in Whistler’s painting this influence pervades every aspect of the composition.  The lady is positioned in front of a Japanese folding screen, holding a fan and dressed in a silk kimono.  In the backgound we see a Japanese vase. Flowers appear on her clothing, fan, the screen and the carpet. A delightful mix between the oriental and occidental.

Abanindranath Tagore, Bharat Mata

This painting of Mother India was Abanindranath Tagore’s most famous work.  Tagore’s art has sometimes been accused of being a little weak and watery, but with this beautiful image he was successful.  Mother India is personified here as a beautiful young women, treading with a certain weightlessness upon lotus flowers.

Albrecht Durer

Detail from the Taj Mahal

This monument to love is one of the splendours of the world, and rightly so.  No detail has been forgotten, no surface has been left bare. Yet the decoration is not overpowering because of the purity and soothing quality of the white marble, which is brightened with areas of pietra dura made from dazzling semi precious stones. In the sublime floral designs we may witness the perfect relationship between western naturalism and the Eastern decorative.

Van Gogh

Stunning colours! This intense green always makes me think of India.  Van Gogh really was an excellent colourist, knowing exactly what to put together to create both a striking and harmonious painting. His talent is quite extraordinary, especially when taking into consideration that he only painted for about eight years of his life.

Rajasthan

This is not a flower painting as such, but I love it so much that I have used the few blossoming trees in the background as an excuse to include it.  The patchwork of vivid colours, emphasised contours, and wonderful shapes allows our imaginations to run free. This image depicts Rama and his brother Lakshmana sitting in a clearing in a wood (to which they have been exiled for 13 years).  Rama has just slain the demon Vali, after his beautiful wife, Sita, was abducted by the wicked Ravana and taken to the island of Lanka.  Above Rama and his brother, a ferocious storm is raging, which is why all of the animals are leaping into the undergrowth for protection.  What is so fascinating about this painting is the way in which the artist has depicted different stages of the story all in one work, hence we see Rama and Lakshmana appearing a number of times on the same canvas! The ingenious way the artist has dealt with those complex issues of time and space is enchanting!

Elizabeth Blackadder

A living British Royal Academy watercolour artist.  I have always admired her random compositions, and plain backgrounds.

Edo period, 17th century painted screen, Japan.

No words are sufficient to describe the beauty of this screen, so I am not going to attempt it!

William Blake

Diego Riviera, The Flower Carrier

Flowers are not usually associated with heavy labour in art work. This composition by Mexican artist Diego Riviera is wonderful, with its clean, rounded forms and bold colours. Even though the load looks uncomfortable, the pair look happy and I find something comforting in this image.  Perhaps because I have the luxury of merely observing rather than participating.

Fantin-Latour

Trés jolie!

Detail from Botticelli’s Primavera

I was amazed by the level of detail in this painting when I first saw it in the Uffizi, particularly by the abundant and delicate flora in the foreground. Nature, poetry and art were very closely connected in Renaissance times and a requirement for all paintings commissioned by the intellectual Medici family, such as this one.

John Frederick Lewis

Lewis was an exceptionally talented British Orientalist artist.  His works abound with sweetness and beauty.  His use of perspective was masterful, as was his architectural drawing and painting, but his figures too are very charming.

Below: Frederick Lord Leighton

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~ by bethiarose on June 19, 2010.

One Response to “Flowers in Art”

  1. Another charming series of images (though I do find the colours in the Van Gogh bordering on the hysterical). Apropos of your blog in general rather than this posting in particular, we went for a walk from the village of Newton St Loe (just outside Bath) to Newton Park this afternoon, passing a house – number nine in its lane – with the most beautiful of names: The Nine Muses.
    Christopher Greaves

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