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105 pages

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Flowers are the centerpiece in the majority of pictorial still-lifes. By painting their colours and forms, artists from Brueghel to O’Keeffe have created symbols for both life and mortality. Van Gogh’s sunflowers, Monet’s water lilies and Matisse’s bouquets are, of course, unforgotten. Most of the works contained in Flowers are true masterpieces, which have often marked whole epochs and styles.



Publié par
Date de parution 04 juillet 2023
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9781781609361
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 4 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,0700€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Victoria Charles

120 illustrations
© 2022, Confidential Concepts, Worldwide, USA
© 2022, Parkstone Press USA, New York
© Image-Bar www.image-bar.com
© 2005 Bauchant Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / ADAGP, Paris
© 2005 Manguin Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / AGAGP, Paris
© 2005 Matisse Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / AGAGP, Paris
© 2005 Larionov Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / ADAGP,Paris
© 2005 Friesz Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / ADAGP, Paris
© 2005 Picasso Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / PICASSO
© 2005 Dufy Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / ADAGP, Paris
© 2005 Kingdom of Spain, Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / VEGAP, Madrid
© 2005 Vivin Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / ADAGP, Paris
© 2005 Louis Estate / Artists Rights Society, New York, USA / ADAGP, Paris
All rights reserved. No part of this may be reproduced or adapted without the permission of the copyright holder, throughout the world.
Unless otherwise specified, copyright on the works reproduced lies with the respective photographers. Despite intensive research, it has not always been possible to establish copyright ownership. Where this is the case, we would appreciate notification.
ISBN: 978-1-78160-936-1
Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640)
Emma Desportes De La Fosse (1810-1869)
Anne Vallayer-Coster (1744-1818)
Jean-François Garneray (1755-1837)
Corneille Van Spaendonck (1756-1840)
Iphigénie Milet De Mureau (1780-?)
Augustin Thierriat (1789-1870)
Adèle Riché (1791-1887)
Apollinaire Sicard (1807-1881)
Simon Saint-Jean (1808-1860)
Jean-Marie Reignier (1815-?)
Jacques-Joseph Baile (1819-1856)
Théodore Chassériau (1819-1856)
Hortense Dury-Vasselon
Joanny Maisiat (1824-1910)
Jean-Pierre Laÿs (1825-1887)
François Lépagnez (1828-1870)
André Perrachon (1828-1909)
Edouard Manet (1832-1883)
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904)
Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907)
Alexis Kreyder (1839-1912)
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
Odilon Redon (1840-1916)
Claude Monet (1840-1926)
Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)
Georges Jeannin (1841-1925)
François Rivoire (1842-1919)
Henri Rousseau (1844-1910)
Jules Alexandre Gamba De Preydour (1846-1931)
Gustave Caillebotte (1848-1894)
Grégoire Chapoton (1845-1915)
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Henri Cauchois (1850-1911)
Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
Louis Vivin (1861-1936)
Séraphine Louis (1864-1942)
Henri Matisse (1869-1954)
André Bauchant (1873-1958)
Henri Manguin (1874-1949)
Raoul Dufy (1877-1953)
Othon Friesz (1879-1949)
Mikhail Larionov (1881-1964)
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)
Salvador Dalí (1904-1989)
Flowers in a Japanese Vase
Augustin Thierriat, 1854. Oil on canvas, 65 x 49 cm, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it is your world for a moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want it or not.”
– Georgia O'Keeffe
The Virgin in a Garland of Flowers
Peter Paul Rubens, c.1618. Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen Alte Pinakothek, Munich
Adam and Eve have already been expelled from the Garden of Eden, a miraculous place where the plant life is balanced, and flowers abound…
The craftsmen of the Nile valley already delight in painting papyrus and lotus on the walls of tombs… the ultimate statements of their love of the good life.
The Cretan ceramists are already painting crocuses or other flowers on vases.
According to Pliny, pictures of flowers have been painted since the time of Alexander.
In the Middle Ages, the Dominican Albert the Great devoted a chapter to De plantatione viridarium, in his “Treatise on Plants”.
Tapestries with the thousand flowers of the hanging of the unicorn show lilies, roses, carnations, irises… Herbs and flowers decorate royal dwellings, while flowers are used in ceremonies and religious processions.
In a representational work, the artist searches for a compromise between imitation and the expression of his thought.
Symbolism begins to develop each time the artist exhausts his source of inspiration in nature. Thus, painters, fascinated by the beauty of flowers which stir their imagination, express the inexpressible through allegory and symbol. But must the artist conform to the aesthetic constraints of nature…? Flowers braided into wreaths also take on several meanings. The first Christians symbolised paradise with wreaths of flowers painted close to the figures.
Roses and lilies were frequently portrayed in the Renaissance arranged as a wreath around the Virgin, saints or angels, as in La Vierge à l’enfant avec Saint-Jean (The Virgin and Child with St. John) by Filippino Lippi, kept at the National Gallery in London. Flowers, in particular jasmine with its white star shape and sweet scent, are one of the symbols of the Virgin. For this reason the Virgin is often represented in garlands of flowers.
For example, Peter Paul Rubens painted The Virgin in a Garland (kept in the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek of Munich). Flowers in the works of Van Eyck or the German masters form an entity with Christ and the Saints, and the artists take an entirely new pleasure in reproducing them. The flower symbolises grace, elegance, and kindness – meanings which are directly derived from the morphology of this graceful, elegant, delicately perfumed type of plant. Botanical naturalism emerges in Van Spaendonck’s Basket of Flowers and Fruits, with a Goldfinch on an Earthenware Jar.
It was developed by the illuminators of northern Europe at the end of the 15th century when they were weary of painting religious scenes. These painters, who were considered botanists too, catalogued the rare plants and flowers which were flooding in from different parts of the globe. Botanical gardens, such as those in Padua in 1543, were created to collect them. Botany developed rapidly in the second half of the 16th century. In 1601, the Flemish illustrator, Charles de l’Escluse devoted a work to rare plants, Rariorum plantarum, which is a huge illustrated natural history collection.
From the 16th century on, the bouquet of flowers became a pretext for painters to show off their talent. It was a popular subject when the art of illumination was on the decline. Floral print-making, however, was caught up in an ever-changing organic movement, making it difficult to establish stages of style marked by innovations in the treatment attributed to this or that artist. Exotic flowers from the East or West Indies were the subject of great interest. In 1521, the Spanish discovered superb gardens in Mexico. But it was Turkey, in the second half of the 16th century, that would be the greatest source of enrichment for our gardens.
The extreme refinement of the Persian courts had prompted them to grow flowers which their priests celebrated. Vienna was the gateway to Europe for oriental flowers, Madrid the gateway for South American ones. From then on, these flowers slowly spread into the countries of the Holy Roman Empire, into Germany and the Netherlands. They were the favourite source of inspiration for the Mannerist painters. It is natural that this taste for flowers would create a new pictorial genre. Flanders seems to have preceded other countries in this respect. The oldest dated paintings of flowers are those of Jan Brueghel (1568-1625).
From Brueghel’s correspondence with Cardinal Borromeo, we know the Mannerists worked in botanical gardens themselves in order to produce bouquets, and even real herbaria. Catalogues of floral shapes were thus formed and used in various pictures. Gabrielle d’Estrées au bain (Gabrielle d’Estrées Bathing), attributed to the French School at the beginning of the 17th century and kept in the Musée Condée, displays genuine botanical studies in its compositions of plants.
This approach continued throughout the whole first half of the 17th century, as Guirlande de fleurs (Garland of Flowers) by Gaspar Pieter II Verbruggen shows, or the Grand bouquet de fleurs (Large Bouquet of Flowers) by Jan van Huysum. The inlaid coloured mosaics of the Florentine specialists then included botanical reproductions, where jasmine flowers appeared in their tables and pictures of hard stone. These works certainly inspired the cabinet makers who transposed the same motifs onto wood.
This form of decoration may be called “floral” marquetry, since furniture thus adorned is designated by this term, as if it were a material. Gole’s inventory mentions “a floral table”; “a floral writing desk”. In the second half of the 17th century, naturalist floral marquetry was practised throughout a large part of Europe: in Paris, from at least 1657; by Leonardo van der Vinne working in Florence from 1659; in the Netherlands and in England. Marquetry with floral designs was very successful from the 17th century with Jan van Meheren, until around 1900 with Majorelle.

The Graces Adorning Nature
Peter Paul Rubens. The Art Museum and Gallery, Glasgow

Basket of Flowers and Fruits
Corneille van Spaendonck, 1804. Oil on canvas, 93 x 73 cm. Private collection

Roses in a Blue Vase
Anne Vallayer-Coster, 1775. Oil on leather, 46 x 37.5 cm. Private collection, London
In the Court of Versailles the taste of luxury was rediscovered in all its artistic expressions. Textiles in particular would become the most flowery of all the decorative arts. It must be said that the brilliance of the Lyon silk artists meant that nature could be faithfully reproduced. In every instance the artist’s precision is so great that the flowers can be identified. They were arranged so as to be seen from their most characteristic angle.
In the reign of Louis XIV, the flower became the dominant element o

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