In an eloquent essay by Foshay titled The Flower Observed she traces the path of floral imagery in art through the centuries from its practical beginnings, through religious significance, to the works of 20th century artists. It is quite a gallop through history and very informative for someone who is interested in this subject matter.
She begins by noting that poets, artists, philosophers, gardeners etc. who respond to floral forms and consider the life cycle of plants as a metaphor for the human condition all share a common belief that "essential truths could be found through the consideration of the floral kingdom".
Did you know that...
- along with the study of human anatomy, the pages of da Vinci's notebooks were filled with notations and drawings reflecting his preoccupation with the plant world and organic life?
Still Life with Flowers(1639) oil on panel,
Vanitas paintings present the exquisite beauty of a flower in full bloom as a symbol of impending decay.
Vanitas Still Life with a Boquet and a Skull (1643) Adriaen van Utrecht
The development of the magnifying glass intensified artists' visual understanding of floral forms and promoted an increased naturalism of floral detail.
The rose is considered the queen of flowers.
Jean-Pierre Redoute imortalized the rose in his prints, entitled Les Roses issued in three volumes from 1817 to 1824?
Rosa Muscosa Multiplex, Jean- Pierre Redoute
John Ruskin, philosopher and artist, recommended that artists avoid the hybrids or the "florist's flowers" and paint the truth of nature, i.e., wildflowers
Study of Foliage ( 1845) John Ruskin
The invention of the x-ray played a role comparable to the magnifying glass and microscope in intensifying artists ' perspective on natural form?
Flower Forms, 1928, Sheeler... "all nature has an underlying abstract structure and it is within the province of the artist to search for it."
Edward Hopper painted only one floral image in his whole career represented in Room in Brooklyn painted in 1932?