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‘Flower Art’ – Flowers in Art


Flowers are regularly used in the world of art. There are several reasons why this is the case. Of course they present artists with a beautiful platform for incorporating bright colours and pretty shapes. However, the real motive runs a lot deeper than this. Flowers carry great depth of meaning and they are symbols for a whole host of feelings. Therefore, they help the artist to create their desired feeling and evoke the right emotions from those that are viewing the artwork. Flowers have long been used to communicate a deeper message.


More often than not, flowers are used in a subtle manner, yet their meaning is significant. Of course there are exceptions, with some of the Dutch masters, such as O’Keeffe and Van Gogh being prime examples. Flowers were often at the forefront of their expressive pieces. Yet, other artists that use flowers in small and subtle doses are still able to create a massive impact.


One of the best examples of this is the famous portrait of Ophelia when she is seen floating in the river just seconds before her death. In this piece of artwork, by Sir John Everett Millais, you can see beautiful little flowers sprayed around Ophelia. These flowers play a significant role. Not only do they bring colour to the piece visually, but also they remind everyone that life continues despite the cessation of Ophelia’s life. She is also clutching a poppy in the portrait, which is often used to represent both death and sleep. The small yet significant inclusion of colourful flowers completely changes the entire meaning of the artwork.


As you can see, flowers – even when used in such a small way – have a massive effect. Nonetheless, there are of course many pieces of art that are completely centered on flowers. We have to go back to Holland once again in order to look at the birth of this, with Dutch flower paintings often being credited as the earliest pure examples of this genre. Yet, you may be shocked to discover the symbolisation of these paintings. The flower was a symbol of a man’s mastery of his own physical environment and political influence. The paintings would include vases with flowers from all over the world that could not possibly bloom at the same time. The painting signified a floral map in essence, showcasing the spread of the Dutch colonial network. Without prior knowledge you or I may simply see a vase of pretty flowers, yet the meaning is astonishing and portrayed in such a stunning manner.


Of course flowers were used before the Dutch did so in the 17th century.In the Gothic era – from about 1200-1400 AB, flowers were used to symbol the importance of certain people or to depict their personality. And if we were to really go back in time and embrace art in all forms, you’d have to count the Egyptian use of the lotus on their tombs as the first example of art and flowers combined.


Today we see flowers used extensively in artwork, and a lot of today’s artists take inspiration from the use of flowers in the past. Yet new and experimental forms are being explored all of the time, with a prime example being Margaret Jordan Patterson’s unique colour woodcut floral prints, whereby each colour is added in a separate printing stage. It’s unlikely we will ever see the day whereby flowers seize in importance in regards to art. They bring great depth of meaning and symbolisation, easily transforming a piece of work. If you want to transform your home and inject some personality, take advantage of flower delivery in Adelaide from Fresh Flowers today.

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