Throughout history, artists have used paintings of flowers to express emotion. From full, vibrant flowers that express joy and optimism to the wilted single flower that hints at sorrow, flowers are a great subject to put on the canvas. The type of flower, its stage of life, the number of them in the picture, the surrounding scenery and many other factors can deeply impact the mood of the painting.
There are many artists who were able to use flowers in their artwork to successfully convey their thoughts and feelings. Even people who do not consider themselves to be “into art” have heard of these famous painters and many are even familiar with certain pieces.
Vincent Van Gogh is a name that just about everyone knows. He has several famous works, several of which centered on flowers. “Sunflowers” (originally named in French “Tournesols”) is perhaps his most work on flowers. These flowers were the subject of two series of still life paintings. The earlier series (1887) portrays the flowers lying on the ground and the second series (1888) shows them in bouquets in a vase. No Van Gogh exhibit would ever willingly exclude Sunflowers from display.
“Irises” is another Van Gogh work, painted during the last year of his life and while he resided at an asylum. He referred to the work as “the lightning conductor for my illness” believing that he could keep his sanity if he continued to paint. The oil painting “Almond Blossom” is another of his later works.
Edgar Degas is also a name you may recognize. This French artist is credited as one of the founders of Impressionism, although he preferred to be called a realist. While more than half of his work includes dancers and he is also known for several female nudes, Degas also has flower paintings on his resume. Woman with Chrysanthemums is among the best known. Like his other work, it is emotionally charged and points to the human isolation.
Chrysanthemums have shown up on the canvases of several artists as well. Vase of Chrysanthemums by Pierre-August Renoir and Vase of Chrysanthemums by Claude Monet are among the favorites for those seeking to decorate their homes with reprints. “Chrysanthemums” by Paul Cezanne is also a popular reprint that would be a nice addition to any home.
Monet is also known for his series on Water Lilies. Water Lilies were a subject for Monet throughout his life. Early lilies were completed in 1906, while still more lilies were created into the late 1920s. The series also includes paintings entitled “Water Lilies, ” “Water-Lily Pond, ” and “Water-Lily and Weeping Willow” as well as others.
Many artists have been compelled to include at least one, if not several, depiction of flowers in their work. Perhaps it is because of how fully they can capture and convey emotions. These few mentioned here are just a small selection of a huge genre of art. Other paintings of flowers include Cezanne’s “Bouquet in a Blue Vase” and “Bouquet in Rococo Style, ” and Renoir’s “Bouquet” and “Roses.” If you are looking for nice reprints, also consider Johann Baptist Drechsler, an Austrian painter whose work in the late 1700s into early 1800s includes many pictures of flowers.