There is a huge variety of styles and trends in the visual arts. Often they do not have clearly defined boundaries and smoothly pass from one to another. They continuously develop, mix and counteract. Many styles coexist at the same time
Vanitas is an allegorical still life, the compositional center of which is traditionally the human skull on canvas. Such paintings are an early stage in the development of still life. It intended to remind of the transience of life, the futility of pleasures and the inevitability of death.
Floral still lives of European artists
The nature of art has tremendous healing power and reflects the universal harmony. Still life became a genre of painting in which we observe inanimate objects. The most widely used natures mortes are still-life paintings with fruits and flowers.
The secret of the healing power of a flower painting
The psychological state of a person is intimately connected with his physical health.
Contemplating a picture can arouse the imagination, create a special beautiful world in a man`s soul. Studies show that the power of imagination can affect and normalize the functioning of the nervous and immune systems. The paintings with beautiful flowers evoke strong positive emotions. The bright colors on the canvas can help to cope with depression.
Sunflowers Claude Monet. 1881
Throughout his life, Claude Monet reverently loved flowers. The brightest proof of this is the garden in Geverny. Now it is a famous house-museum.
Another indisputable confirmation of the painter’s affection for flowers is his paintings.
“Sunflowers” is famous artwork revealing a bouquet of yellow sunflowers set in a narrow tall vase with a blurred background. The plot of still life painting is unpretentious. But how wonderful is the embodiment of the idea!
We see no clear lines, but uneven wavy strokes which create a shape only with colors. This technique creates a feeling of movement, making work vibrant and dynamic. The style of the master has always freedom, lightness, airiness, and realism, regardless of what he embodied.
Surprisingly that in such a static genre of painting as still life, he was able to breathe so much life. The sunflowers seem to be pulling their heads to the sun, and their petals are trembling in the wind.
Another distinguishing feature of the master’s technique is the use of contrasting colors, which in total give the desired color. If you look closely at the image of abstract flowers, you can see that the petals are written in red, yellow, orange shades. But after taking a couple of steps from the picture, they merge into a rich yellow palette that so realistically embodies sunflowers. Each flower in a vase is unique with its own shape, head bowing, and size.
An attentive viewer may notice that there is a certain discrepancy in the proportions in the picture. Indeed, in fact, such a narrow vase cannot accommodate a large armful of sunflowers. But it was important to show the magnificence of sunflowers, and all other details are secondary.
This magnificent still life is the most important one in the artist’s early work. It has survived even to this day. Written with almost scientific accuracy, this masterpiece has freshness and spontaneity. Isolated on a dark background, fully ripe peonies, potted hydrangeas, and lilac are located below in front of geraniums. At the same time, Monet’s energetic brush conveys a sparkling play of light on leaves and petals. The abundance of colors and the rich use of paint could be the result of Courbet’s still lifes, often painted with a palette knife. The only floral still life of that time, equal to Monet in exceptional pictorial effect, is Renoir’s painting “Spring Flowers”. Already in this early period, Renoir and Monet shared a common aesthetic that was looking for a new kind of beauty derived from ordinary objects.
Van Gogh`s faded roses on a bright background are the simple content of still life. The author “tears” roses from the canvas and offers the viewer a closer look at the flowers and changes their attitude. The whole life of the artist was in the struggle for recognition of his right to a special look at the world around him.
Still life with roses – a desperate attempt to draw attention to his work. In this case, the author abandons his favorite bright color combinations. The color of the work is soft and unobtrusive. Only one of the roses is painted with a completely unauthorized color – the color of blood.
An artist for society was just a crazy experimenter. Therefore, his latest works are now perceived especially sharply.
King of all still lifes
No one can resist the magic of the beauty of flowers! Flowers, even single ones, always especially enlivened the paintings of artists. And in beautiful bouquets, the joyful harmony of the blossoming world of nature is reflected.
This energy of joy and love resonates in everyone’s heart, warming the soul with pleasant notes of memories.
Flowers in still lifes often organically coexist with the image of fruits. This is the world of beauty of forms, speaking the language of colors and a combination of colors, the richness, and bounty of nature.
In their paintings, picturers try to convey the texture and colors of objects as accurately and naturally as possible. They add an accent of luxury and splendor, combining them with an imaginative sense.
Memory in flowers
Flower language, like any other, has been changing over time. It varies in different countries and cultures.
And yet, first of all, we perceive flowers to be an expression of natural beauty, the embodiment of the fine art of floristry. It has come a long way in its formation and development along with human civilization.
There are many ways to love flowers. Scientists dry and bury them in places called herbaria. Fancier appreciates only rare flowers. But there are other people, happier ones who love all the flowers. They owe flowers the purest and most reliable pleasures. Happy are those who love flowers! Happy are those who love only flowers!
We need to thank poets, musicians, and artists as they gave flowers a diverse and probably the most meaningful and beautiful eternal life.