Friday Favorites 6/29/2012

It has been an artsy-fartsy week here on Older Eyes – Bud’s Blog: photos of flowers on Monday; the art of film selection on Tuesday; Wednesday and Thursday … computer generated art.  So, I’m going to continue the trend on Friday Favorites with my favorite painters of flowers.  If you’re a long-time visitor, you know that my tastes lean toward impressionism, so it should be no surprise that the contenders are Pierre Auguste Renoir, Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

Vase of Chrysanthemums*

Renoir was known primarily as a painter of people, especially women, and is widely regarded as the greatest painter of feminine sensuality.  He did, however, paint numerous still life paintings of flowers, such as Vase of Chrysanthemums, painted in 1882.  Many of his florals were painted during a time when he was trying to break with the impressionist movement and return to a more classical style, so as beautiful as they are, the renderings are more detailed than I’d prefer.

Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers*

Vincent Van Gogh’s earlier work was more classical than impressionistic, with a darkness that reflected his personality and difficult life.  Skull of a Skeleton with a Burning Cigarette could be an illustration for a modern anti-smoking commercial.  However, after moving to Paris in 1886, he began to be influenced by impressionists, particularly Paul Gauguin, he gradually evolved to painting with the bright colors and bold brushstroke for which he’s best known.  Still Life: Vase with Twelve Sunflowers, painted in 1888, is typical of the dramatic florals he painted later in his life.

As the founder of the French impressionist movement, who, according to Wikipedia was impressionism’s most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement’s philosophy of expressing one’s perceptions before nature, it is no surprise that Claude Monet’s work in general … and his florals in particular … are subtly gorgeous.   They are often constructed of thousands of tiny brushstrokes of color, beautiful to behold  up close but only revealing their floral intent from a distance.  I don’t think there is any experience quite like seeing one of his water lilies in person, being able to see the true colors and stand close enough to see the detail of the brush strokes.   I suppose that statement tells you that Money is my favorite … but how could you go wrong with these three artists?

Water Lilies*

Do you have a favorite painter of flowers?  If so, who is it?  If not, why not?

* All figures are courtesy Wikimedia Commons, a database of 13,168,839 freely usable media files to which anyone can contribute.

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