by A Kladov
Red Roses with Blue, Alex Katz
Red Roses with Blue

For centuries, nature's elements, such as trees, flowers, and animals, were used as a popular motif for painting. Depending on what time flowers were painted, they often had mythological or religious meanings.

Carnations symbolized love in ancient Greek culture, while ivy represented marital loyalty in the Middle Ages. In the 20th century, flower paintings continued to be popular and were incorporated into almost all art forms.

The production of floral paintings was particularly burgeoning in the 15th and 16th centuries when the first botanical painters appeared. The artworks of this era were not only highly decorative, but they also had a symbolic undertone, which gave them philosophical connotations.

Holland is known for its long tradition of flower paintings. The "Land of Tulips" is home to some of the world's most popular flower paintings, from the realistic bouquets of the nineteenth century to Van Gogh's colorful and untamed sunflowers.

Claude Monet painted his famous water-lily series in the 19th Century. The paintings capture the ever-changing quality of light during spring, summer, and winter and evoke a meditative feeling that hypnotizes viewers. Finally, vivid closeups of flowers by Georgia O'Keeffe or Marc Queen are used to draw the viewer's attention to their beauty and uniqueness.

It is not necessary to be an expert botanist to create beautiful flowers. It's more important than producing anatomical flowers to catch each flower's essence, feeling, and spirit. Reid shares his expertise and teaching techniques for acrylic and oil paints. You will also learn about the materials, palettes, and painting techniques, such as dry brushing and pointillism.

You'll then delve into the art of painting various leaf forms, guided by illustrative examples and tasks. Subsequently, you'll transition to mastering floral layouts and designs. The course will equip you with skills in blending hues and intensities for diverse visual impacts, and you'll also grasp design principles like setting boundaries and positioning subjects.

We are inviting you to explore an amazing collection of floral paintings. On our list, we’ve got everything that is truly worth your attention. From the complex compositions of 17th-century flowers to Marc Queen's and Alex Katz's rose oil paintings. Let’s discover a passion for nature in its many shapes & colors.

Flower Still Life, Ambrosius Bosschaert
Ambrosius Bosschaert, Flower Still Life, 1614

Still Life of Flowers by Ambrosius Bousschaert (1614)

Ambrosius B. stands out as a pioneer in the realm of floral artistry. His vibrant and lifelike depictions of flower bunches, predominantly featuring roses and blush tulips, positioned him among the initial artists to craft such intricate displays. His botanical masterpieces, rendered on copper, showcase a remarkable balance and precision.

This painting shows a white carnation, yellow tulip, and pink rose in front of an array of vibrantly colored flowers. This striking piece of art represents plants' short life, beauty, and fleeting nature. It also shows a variety of insects with a similar fate.

Tulip from Her Tulip Book, Judith Leyster
Judith Leyster, Tulip from Her Tulip Book, 1643

Tulips from Her Tulip Book by Judith Leyster (1643)

The tulip bulbs became very expensive in the mid-1600s, and painted images of the beautiful flowers were a cheap alternative. Judith Leyster was inspired by the high demand for specialized tulip catalogs to produce her own flower book. The Dutch artist is known for her beautiful portraits, but she also paints still-life images and flowers. This series proves it.

Lilacs in a Window, Mary Cassatt
Mary Cassatt, Lilacs on a Window, 1880-1883

Lilacs on a Window by Mary Cassatt (1880-83)

Mary Cassatt, one of the founders of American Impressionism, painted a lot of elements related to domestic life. Her paintings often depicted human figures, but she also included flower bouquets and garden scenes.

The aubergine vase with a white and purple bouquet of lilacs is next to a window in her greenhouse. This colorful painting shows the painter's skillful academic style and angular fluency.

Still Life Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, Vincent van Gogh
Vincent van Gogh, Still Life Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, 1888

Still Life Vase with 12 Sunflowers by Vincent van Gogh (1888)

The sunflower is the subject of two different series of VanGogh oil paintings. It's also one of his most famous motifs. The painting Still Life Vase With Twelve Sunflowers is part of his Arles series, created in 1888.

The artist painted 4 versions of the vase, and this final version has been reworked to include additional flowers. Even though the painting is titled Still Life Vase With Twelve Sunflowers, it actually features 15 flowers.

Water Lilies, Claude Monet
Claude Monet, Water Lilies, 1880-1919

Water Lilies by Claude Monet  (1919)

Claude Monet’s breathtaking Water Lilies is one of the most popular and loved series of flower paintings in art history. These paintings depict Claude Monet’s flower gardens at Giverny as a vast, seemingly endless surface of water.

Attracted to the ability of water plants to reflect light, the painter created a collection of works that show the changing flowers at various times during the day. Water lilies in his paintings ranged from being figurative and abstract, opening the door to further abstraction. This painting, completed in 1919, was sold and signed by the artist. Many other works from the series were left unfinished.

Red Poppy, Georgia O'Keeffe
Georgia O'Keeffe, Red Poppy, 1927

Red Poppy by Georgia O'Keeffe (1927)

Throughout her career, Georgia O'Keeffe produced over 200 flower paintings. After focusing on watercolors until 1918, the artist began painting oil canvas and soon started creating large-scale floral forms that looked like they were being viewed through a magnifying lens. This striking Red Poppy from 1927 perfectly illustrates Georgia O'Keeffe's close-ups. 

This large-scale, fascinating painting has vibrant orange and red tones, which draw the viewer into the work. The US Post Office decided in 1992 to create a stamp series based on the painting to honor the great art figure.

Peonies and Irises, Emil Nolde
Emil Nolde, Peonies and Irises, 1936

Peonies and Irises by Emil Nolde (1936)

The colorful gardens of the German state Schleswig-Holstein immediately captured the attention of Emil Nolde and his wife. The fields of yellow rudbeckias, gem-like dahlias, geums, and pink roses completely changed Emil Nolde's painting style.

He began painting oil-on-canvas floral pieces, using powerful splashes and emotions of paint and watercolor. His Irises and Peonies portrays beautifully the beauty of a modern garden.

Flowers, Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol, Flowers, 1970

Flowers by Andy Warhol (1970)

Andy Warhol was a famous pop painter who often painted flowers. He depicted a wide variety of species, from Japanese ikebana to white daisies. The 1964 series of flower paintings is especially striking, as it uses vibrant colors and innovative techniques to emphasize the shapely hibiscus flowers.

This painting series, though accompanied by controversy as the photographer whose work was used as a basis for this series attempted to sue the artist, continued to flourish for 20 years. Andy Warhol produced a number of floating flowers with different colors and levels of abstraction during these 20 years, including the 1970 silkscreen and acrylic ink painting Flowers.

Red Roses with Blue, Alex Katz
Alex Katz, Red Roses with Blue, 2001

Red Roses with Blue by Alex Katz  (2001)

The American artist Alex Katz has become known for exploring three-dimensional spaces with his landscape and portrait imagery. In the 1960s, he painted a single flower in extreme closeup. 

He began painting flowers with a profusion in the early 2000s and creating artworks similar to those of his 1960s works. The prolific artist covered a large canvas with roses in 2001 to create one of his most beautiful floral works entitled Red Roses With Blue.

Radioactive Nurseries of Enceladus (in the Night Garden), Marc Quinn
Marc Quinn, Radioactive Nurseries of Enceladus (in the Night Garden), 2010

Radioactive Nurseries (in the Night Garden) of Enceladus by Marc Quinn (2010)

Marc Quinn also uses colorful and captivating flowers as a motif. The British artist painted all types of flowers, including irises and sunflowers. He also created anthuriums and orchids. In 2000, he began to be fascinated by flora when he made his garden installation with its many frozen flower sculptures. Marc Quinn has also created several floral paintings and drawings.

One of these is featured on this list. The Radioactive Nurseries Of Enceladus In the Night Garden is a realistic depiction of strawberries and stunning flowers. This painting depicts the artist's desire to protect the environment and his need to control the world.