Thursday, February 27, 2014

I'm tired of being cold...

I'm tired of being cold. So as I wondered about to post today I started looking at images that reminded me that Spring is in our grasps! I found this happy little blog that the Guardian News put together about the 10 Best Flower Paintings. Below are some of my favorites from the list. These following artist invoke the beautiful warm sense of Spring. Each have their own wonderful details that take you to another place and perhaps even time. So sit back, get a little closer to the heater, and enjoy!

Judith Leyster
Tulip from Her Tulip Book (1643)
Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem
'When the Dutch artist Judith Leyster painted this striped specimen in 1643, pictures of tulips were regarded as cheap substitutes for the real thing because the bulbs had become prodigiously expensive. Tulip books became wildly popular too. Even Leyster, more celebrated for her droll and uplifting portraits, produced one for the burgeoning market. Some were upscale catalogues promoting different varieties – this is a Brabanson – but hers seems to have been made for pure visual pleasure.'

Blue Water Lilies (1916-1919)
Musée d’Orsay, Paris
'Monet, in old age, said he took more pride in his garden than his art and, in particular, the pond of waterlilies he grew at Giverny. These large white flowers, with their broad, waxy surfaces, tend to hold and reflect the changing light of the day. Here, it feels like late afternoon and the field of vision appears limitless and blue. The painting effects dissolves between surface and depth, between near and far, between the water and the lilies. Close up, the flowers disappear in the nearly illegible brushstrokes; far away, they resemble evening stars.'

Georgia O’Keeffe
Oriental Poppies (1928)
Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis
'“If I could paint the flower exactly as I see it no one would see what I see because I would paint it small like the flower is small. So I said to myself – I’ll paint it big… and they will be surprised.” O’Keeffe’s poppies are among her most famous works, the glossy red and orange flowers exploding on a canvas almost four feet wide. There is no background to distract from their sheer force of personality. Made in 1928, the painting is a vast close-up, pulling the eye into the dark heart of these flowers through the power of scale and color.'

Lilacs in a Vase (c 1882)
Nationalgalerie, Berlin
'During his long final illness, Manet began to paint beautifully aphoristic pictures of flowers in crystal vases. His subjects were the posies friends brought to his Paris sickroom, in this case white lilac. Fascinated by the stems refracted through the silvery water, and by the flocculent green-in-white blossoms, he paints something closer to a portrait than a still life. You can feel the thick darkness – the darkness of late Goya, whom Manet admired from first to last – closing in around these light some white heads on their fragile stems.'

Tuft of Cowslips (1526)
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC
'Dürer’s art is all about pointing things out, defining their likeness, making them visible and with as much accuracy as possible. A chunk of turf, a quivering harebell, a tuft of cowslips: his drawings are superb and always botanically exact. But notice how he depicts this little clump of spring flowers, leaves, roots and all, like a floating island on the page. A vignette in space, out of context, the cowslips look newly wondrous and strange, despite their basis in observable truth. This is Primula veris, blossoming from April onwards in Germany.'

Jan Brueghel the Elder
Flowers in a Vase (year unknown)
National Museum of Art, Bucharest
'Lilies, tulips, fritillaries, daffodils, snowdrops, carnations, cornflowers, peonies, anemones, roses: this is an all-together-now bouquet and one of the largest and most luscious in art. But is it real? Could all these flowers have blossomed at the same time in 17th-century Holland without hothouses and chemical sprays? Possibly, but this is a vanitas painting, combining the real, the ideal and the symbolic. It would have given its wealthy patron a garden of flowers in a single vase, but it reminds him of his death as well. Some of the flowers are beginning to fade, others have already fallen.'

1 comment:

Earl Grey said...

Oh, thanks for reminding me...I need to go to Lowe's to get sunflower seeds:)

Think sunny thoughts!