Are you captivated by blooming rosebuds on a spring morning, alleys of young geranium shoots or bouquets that yield a thousand colors and scents? KAZoART knows it, you are flower lover, which is exactly why this selection of floral paintings is perfect for you. Find out more about the intoxicating world of flower paintings!
Both spiritually and visually, flowers enchant the spectator. In full bloom, they brighten the spectator’s impression, but once they wilt, they sadden the scene. This is why artists that create floral paintings attempt to capture the ephemeral beauty of flowers and the multitude of facets and emotions they convey.
They are emblematic of youth and beauty when found beside young women, such is the case in François Boucher’s floral painting Portrait of Madame de Pompadour. Reminiscent of both proliferation and life, they reinforce the wild and exotic aspect of faraway lands, as can be seen in Alexandre François Desportes' Oiseaux Exotiques. Initially floral paintings were painted for their beauty, they then took a more realistic stance with Vincent Van Gogh’s works, becoming the main subject of his flower paintings, for example in Sunflowers.
In ancient times, flowers were thought of as decorations for vases, dishes and murals. From the Middle Ages onwards, flowers started to gain in symbolic potential. For example, lilies are associated with purity and Virgin Mary’s virginity in religious art, which is depicted in the floral paintings Annunciation, Les très riches heures du Duc de Berry. The floral aspect does however remain discreet, it is not yet a floral paintings but simply an accessory at this stage.
During the Renaissance, flowers and nature served as ornaments and decorations to main scenes, they were rarely exhibited for their intrinsic beauty (Spring by Guiseppe Arcimboldo). Flower paintings became more popular with the emergence of the still life genre. It should be noted that, in the 17th century, vanitas symbolically represented the fragile and elusive aspect of flowers. (e.g Vanité avec bouquet de fleurs et pipe, Jan II de Heem; Memento Mori by Philippe de Champaigne).
In the 19th century, flowers were honored by the Impressionists and the Fauves for the diversity of their colors and shapes, which enhanced the landscape and the subject of their floral paintings.
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