Flower Paintings are an attempt to capture the beauty of flowers in a visual poetry. Flowers, as poets have long written, are very much like us...or we like them. All living things have a time of bloom and fresh beauty, a fulfillment .
Painters like Monet (water-lilies) and Van Gogh (sunflowers), have successfully managed to express emotions through flowers. Many other painters have attempted to do so with varying degrees of success.
Various cultures have a tradition of Flower Paintings.
Lotus Flowers in Chinese Paintings
Lotuses are of great significance to the Chinese they symbolize creativity amidst adversity. Summer is also heralded with a lotus bloom. Chinese painters have through the ages tried the represent this flower in all its glory. Such was their proliferation that a special school of lotus paintings was developed.
Flower Paintings of Georgia O'Keeffe
The flowers of Georgia O'Keeffe were both seductive and repulsive. This American Master had the ability to play with colors in the most intriguing manner. O'Keeffe began painting flowers in 1918, but it was not until 1924, the year in which she and Stieglitz were married, that she produced the first of the magnified flowers with which she is most frequently associated.
"A flower is relatively small. Everyone has many associations with a flower - the idea of flowers. Still - in a way - nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small - we haven't time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time. So I said to myself - I'll paint what I see - what the flower is to me but I'll paint it big and they will be surprised into taking time to look at it - I will make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see of flowers."
Van Gogh's Sunflowers
Sunflowers” is a series of still life paintings that Van Gogh painted between 1888-1889.
The paintings show sunflowers in all stages of life, from fully in bloom to withering. The paintings were innovative for their use of the yellow spectrum. This series was particularly close to Van Gogh's heart. To his dear brother Theo he wrote-“ the sunflower is mine in a way”
Monet's Water lilies
Monet's ten Oil Paintings on water lilies are considered to be his masterpieces. This single subject was shown in different light conditions. The simple design of this painting with the close-up view of the bridge was repeated in several other canvases. The fresh greens of the foliage evoke an early summer's day. In the Water lilies Monet had achieved a completely new, fluid and almost audacious style of painting in which the water lily pond became the point of departure for an almost abstract art.
Flowers with their delicate ephemeral beauty capture the imagination of most artists. Nothing is more joyous to a painter than depicting beauty in all its purity. Flowers give them that very opportunity.