Flowers in the history of art

We decorate our homes with lush fresh flower bouquets throughout the year and we send flowers for special occasions too.  In this busy day and age, it’s quite common for us to skip the trip to our local florist and browse through flowers online instead.  Within minutes and a few mouse clicks, our online flower order will be well on its way.  While the photographs displayed by online florists are meant as a product guide, other floral images and works of art serve a different purpose.  A large number of artists have chosen flowers as their subjects over the years.  Today, we can enjoy these beautiful and famous works even decades later!

Van Gogh Almond Blossom
Vincent van Gogh – Almond Blossom, 1890 Oil on canvas, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

Many people are already aware of the language of flowers.  In simple terms, each flower has its own specific meaning and even the colour affects the message.  Understanding art and interpreting its message can prove tricky at times.  Fortunately, when it comes to floral art, the language of flowers can help!  From the 1600s to the 1800s, floral works of art were particularly popular.  Flowers were included in paintings, murals and even stylish costumes!  Different types of flowers were regularly discovered which meant that there was always something new to paint or portray!

Irises In Monet's Garden
Irises in Monet’s Garden, 1900 Oil on canvas, Musee d’Orsay

There are a number of famous artists who have used flowers in their works.  Such include names like Manet, Redoute, Van Gogh, Monet and O’Keeffe.  Flowers make up about 65% of retail art today and, with this in mind, it’s quite easy to understand how the arts have managed to maintain such a high level of success and popularity.  People usually prefer certain types of flowers depicted in art.  Much like they are partial to particular fresh flowers in their home,  Roses are one of the most popular of all flowers.  It is also important to understand that art has come a long way over the past few years and photography is now one of the most prominent forms of artwork around the world.  Flowers make great subjects in photos and, with the right high quality camera, their beauty can be captured and preserved forever.  If you fancy trying your hand at flower photography but you’re not sure where or how to get started, the best thing to do is to sign up for some photography classes and to practice every chance you get!

Wedding Dress With Flowers
Wedding dress of flowered silk, c 1760, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

The success enjoyed by flowers in art is largely due to the fact that they are such versatile subjects.  Depending on how the flowers are depicted in the work of art, they will appeal to different groups of people.  Regardless of the style or décor in your home, you can always find a suitable piece of floral art to brighten up any room!