Flower Art History: Most Popular Subjects

by Australian Flowers

For centuries, flower art has been drawn to the beauty and fragility of flowers. From early cave paintings to contemporary art, flower paintings have captured the imagination of artists and viewers alike.

In this article, we’ll explore the history of flower painting, so let’s dive in and learn more about this fascinating subject!

History of the Humble Flower Art

Humble flower art has been around since the early days of humankind. The first flower art was found in the Lascaux Caves in southwestern France and dated back to about 15,000 BCE. These cave paintings depict wildflowers like daisies, poppies, and roses.

It is believed that early humans painted flowers because they were associated with fertility and life. In many cultures, flowers symbolize hope, love, and rebirth.

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Flower Art

Flower arts are found in the art of many ancient cultures. In Egyptian tomb paintings, flowers were often used to symbolize paradise. Lotus flowers were trendy and often appeared in scenes depicting the underworld.

Egyptians also used flower art as a form of funerary art. Funeral flower paintings were placed in tombs and believed to help the deceased achieve eternal life. Flower painting in ancient Egypt can be traced back to the 4th millennium BC. Early examples include paintings of lotuses and papyrus plants from tombs in the Valley of the Kings.

Medieval Art

In the early medieval period, flower art wasn’t as common as it later became. Flowers were often associated with religious themes and paintings and were used to decorate churches and other religious buildings. However, there are some examples of flower art from this period, including the Bayeux Tapestry and the Book of Kells.

As the medieval period progressed, flower art became more common. Flowers were used to decorate religious and secular buildings and were often used in paintings and other works of art.

The Renaissance

Flower art during the renaissance period focused on religious flower paintings. Madonna and Child were popular subjects, as well as Saint Sebastian. Artists like Leonardo da Vinci, Sandro Botticelli, and Raphael used flower garlands and wreaths to symbolize different things in their artwork. For example, flower garlands around the Virgin Mary’s head represented her virginity.

One of the most famous flower paintings is “Madonna of the Pinks” by Raphael. In this painting, the Virgin Mary is surrounded by pink flowers, which symbolize her purity.

Materials Commonly used in Contemporary Art

Some materials are commonly used in contemporary flower art, and these are the ones that we will focus on in this article.

Oil Paint

Oil paint is a type of slow-drying paint that consists of particles of pigment suspended in a drying oil, commonly linseed oil. The viscosity of the paint may be modified by adding a solvent such as turpentine or white spirit, and varnish may be added to increase the glossiness of the dried paint film.

Oil paints have been used in Europe since the 12th century for simple decoration but did not gain widespread use as an artistic medium until the early 15th century.

Acrylic Paint

Acrylic Paint is a fast-drying paint made of pigment suspended in acrylic polymer emulsion. They are water-soluble but become water-resistant when dry.

Acrylic paint is commonly used for flower art, crafting, model making, and school projects as it is cheaper than oil paint and can be easily cleaned up with soap and water.



Paper is an essential flower art material, offering a variety of textures and absorbencies. Watercolour flower painting is particularly well suited to delicate petals and subtle colour gradations.

Some flower painters use heavier-weight paper such as hot press watercolour paper to give their flower art more body. Others prefer lighter-weight paper, such as cold press watercolour paper, to achieve a more delicate look.


Gouache is an opaque watercolour paint with a pigment suspended in a water-based binder. It is similar to watercolour because it can be rewet, and the colour can flow into the wet paper to create exciting effects. However, gouache dries to a matte finish and can be used to create vibrant, high-contrast paintings. Gouache has been used by artists for centuries and was particularly popular during the Renaissance.

Powder Coated Aluminum

Powder-coated aluminium is a type of aluminium treated with a powder coating. This treatment helps to protect the aluminium from corrosion and wear. It also gives the aluminium a nice finish that is resistant to scratches.

This material is often used for flower art because it is light and easy to work with. The powder coating also makes the aluminium resistant to water, which is essential for flower paintings that will be hung in humid environments.


Clay has been used as a flower art material for centuries. One of the oldest flower art ever found is a clay vase with painted flowers dating back to 4,000 BC! Clay flower paintings are made by first shaping the clay into the desired shape and then painting it with watercolours or other paint. Once the paint is dry, the clay flower painting is sealed with a clear coat to protect the paint from chipping or fading.


Wood has been used as a material for flower paintings for centuries. Some of the earliest flower art was done on wood panels. Wood is a durable material that can be carved or painted. It is also easy to frame a flower art on wood.

Found Objects

Found objects or readymades are everyday items that are transformed into art. They used this material to create art because they were easily accessible and often held personal significance.



Resin is a substance secreted by many plants, especially coniferous trees. It is used in flower art to provide a glossy finish and to make the colours appear more vibrant.

When selecting resin for flower painting, choosing a type that is compatible with the paint you are using is essential. Some waxes can yellow over time, so it is best to test a small area before using it on your painting.


Man has used metals since the Bronze Age. The first metal smelted was probably copper, followed by tin and lead. These metals were used for making weapons and tools.

The first flower paintings were probably painted on metal surfaces. Metal is still used for flower paintings, although other characters, such as canvas and paper, are more common.

Famous Flower Paintings

When we think of flower paintings, a few famous artists come to mind. However, many other flower painters have made their mark on the art world.

Still Life with Flowers by Ambrosius Bosschaert (1617)

This flower art was so popular in the 17th century that many artists painted flower still lifes. Bosschaert’s flower paintings differed from those of his contemporaries in their use of light and shadow to create a sense of depth.

In this flower painting, we can see how light and shadow create a sense of depth. The flowers in the foreground are brightly lit, while the ones in the background are in shadow. This makes sense of space and depth not present in other flower paintings of the time. The material used in his image is oil paint on canvas.

Flowers in a Glass Vase, with a Cricket in a Niche by Rachel Ruysch (1700)

This flower art piece by Rachel Ruysch is a flower painting from the Baroque period. The picture is oil on canvas and is currently displayed in a private collection. This painting includes many flowers, such as tulips, roses, lilies, and more.

The painting also includes a cricket in a niche which could represent good luck. Rachel Ruysch used oil on canvas for her flower painting. This type of paint can last a long time if it is correctly cared for.

Flowers in a Glass Vase by John Constable (c.1814)

The flower art by John Constable is one of the best flower paintings in the world. It was painted in 1814 and is currently displayed at the Tate Britain. The painting depicts a bouquet in a glass vase.

The painting is significant because it represents Constable’s early work, foreshadowing his later, more famous flower paintings such as “The Hay Wain” and “The Cornfield”. Constable is considered one of the most critical flower artists in history. Their naturalism and attention to detail characterize his flower paintings.

Hibiscus by Hiroshige (c.1845)

Hibiscus by Hiroshige (c.1845)

Hibiscus by Hiroshige is one of the most popular flower paintings in history. The painting depicts a hibiscus flower in full bloom against the backdrop of Mount Fuji.

Hiroshige was known for his beautiful landscapes and flower paintings. His work often featured traditional Japanese subjects such as Mt. Fuji and cherry blossoms. He uses bold colours and simple compositions to create stunning works of art.

The hibiscus flower is a symbol of summer in Japan. It is often used in traditional Japanese art, such as ukiyo-e woodblock prints. Hiroshige’s painting captures the beauty of this flower perfectly.

Bouquet of flowers by Edouard Manet (1882)

Bouquet flowers by Edouard Manet are one of the most beautiful flower paintings. The painting is full of light and life. The flowers seem to be almost dancing in the breeze.

His flower art is always so joyous, and his use of colour is stunning. Manet is one of the most famous flower artists in history. He was known for his paintings of flowers, especially roses. The materials that he uses are oil paint on canvas.

Roses and Lillies by Henri Fantin-Latour (1888)

Roses and lilies by Henri Fantin-Latour feature a beautiful array of flowers in a vase. The painting is set against a dark background, making the flowers’ colours stand out even more.

Fantin-Latour was a French painter who was known for his flower paintings. He would often paint bouquets that were given to him by his friends. The art depicts the freshness and beauty of the flowers and the artist’s love for them.

Still Life with Irises by Vincent Van Gogh (1890)

Still, Life with Irises is a flower painting by Dutch post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. The work, partly housed at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, was painted in 1890, three years before Van Gogh’s death.

The painting features a beautiful array of irises in full bloom, set against a light blue background, and the work is housed at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Bouquet of Roses by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (c.1890 – 1900)

The art by Pierre-Auguste Renoir called Bouquet of Roses was painted near the end of his life. The painting is currently located in The Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, USA. Renoir’s flower paintings are some of the most popular and well-known flower paintings in the world.

Renoir was known for using light and colour, and Bouquet of Roses is a perfect example of his talent. The roses in the painting are so realistically rendered that they appear to be almost alive.

Water Lilies by Claude Monet (1908)

Water lilies are one of the most beautiful flower paintings done by Claude Monet. It is a series of approximately 250 oil paintings by the French Impressionist Claude Monet, depicting his flower garden at his home in Giverny. They were the main focus of his artistic production during the last 30 years of his life. Many of the works were painted while Monet suffered from cataracts.

His flower paintings were not simply pictures of flowers; instead, they were expressive and emotive paintings that captured the beauty and spirit of the flowers; his series of water lily paintings are among the most famous flower paintings of all time.

Top Tips for Painting Beautiful Pen and Ink Watercolor

There are tips for flower painting, and this is one of them. If you are looking to improve your flower paintings or even just get started with flower painting, then read on for some top tips!

Pen and Ink Watercolor Daisies

Daisies are simple yet beautiful, and they can be painted in a variety of ways. Here are some tips on how to make pen and ink watercolour daisies.

  • Begin by sketching out the daisies with a pencil on watercolour paper. Make sure to leave enough space between the flowers so that you can paint them individually.
  • Once you have your sketch, start painting the daisies with a light blue or green watercolour. Work in small sections and build up the colour gradually.
  • Once the daisies are painted, add some highlights with a white gel pen or a white watercolour pencil.
  • Finally, sign your name at the bottom of the painting and date it.

Pen and Ink Watercolor Tulips

Pen and ink watercolour tulips is a flower painting that uses pen and ink to create tulips. Here are some tips on how to make your tulips using pen and ink watercolour:

  • To start, you will need a pen and some ink. You can use any pen, but we recommend using a watercolour pen.
  • Next, you will need to choose your tulip colours. You can use any colours you like, but we recommend using light colours such as pink, yellow, or white.
  • Once you have your colours, it’s time to start painting! Begin by outlining your tulips with the pen.
  • Then, fill in the Tulips with the ink. Be sure to fill them in so that no white space shows.
  • Finally, add some watercolour to your painting. You can mix the ink with water or use a separate watercolour brush.

Pen and Ink Watercolor Poppies

Poppies have been a staple in flower art for centuries and are also a popular subject in watercolour painting. To create poppies using pen and ink watercolours, you need to:

  • Start with a light blue or purple background.
  • Draw the flower petals with a white pen.
  • Use red ink to add detail to the flower centre.
  • Finish off by adding yellow stamen in the centre of the flower.

Pen and Ink Watercolor Cherry Blossoms

Here are some tips for creating cherry blossoms using pen and ink watercolour painting.

  • Start with a light pencil sketch of your cherry blossoms on watercolour paper. Make sure to leave enough white space around the flowers to stand out.
  •  Start painting in the sky using a blue or violet watercolour. Add some clouds for realism.
  • Now, it’s time to start painting the cherry blossoms. Use a pink or red watercolour and paint the flowers. Be sure to add some highlights with a white or yellow pencil.
  • Finally, paint the stems and leaves using a green watercolour. Add some shadows with a dark green or brown pencil
  • Allow your painting to dry completely before framing or hanging.

Pen and Ink Watercolor Magnolia

Creating your magnolia flower painting using pen and ink with watercolour is not as difficult as it may seem. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be on your way to creating your own beautiful magnolia flower painting in no time.

  • Begin by sketching your magnolia flower onto watercolour paper using a pencil. Then, using a pen or marker, go over the pencil lines.
  • Using a small brush, begin painting in the magnolia flower petals with watercolour. Start with the lightest colour first, and then add darker colours.
  • Once the petals are complete, paint the leaves using a different shade of green.
  • Finally, add any final details, such as highlights or shadows. Allow the painting to dry completely before framing or displaying.

Frequently Asked Questions about Flower Art

What is an art flower?

An art flower is a type of flower arrangement that is meant to be appreciated from all angles. The flowers are typically placed in a vase so that they can be seen from all sides, and the design is meant to be as symmetrical as possible.
Art flowers are popular among florists because they are a challenging and creative way to show off their floral arranging skills. They can be used for weddings, parties, or any other special occasion.

Why are flowers important in art?

Flowers are important in art because they are one of the most beautiful creations of nature. They can be used to add colour, shape, and beauty to any composition.
Flowers can also represent different things depending on their colour and type. For example, a rose might symbolize love, while a lily might symbolize purity. By using flowers in artwork, artists can communicate messages and ideas to their viewers.

Who made the famous flower painting?

Vincent van Gogh. The painting is called “Irises.”
Van Gogh painted “Irises” in the south of France in May of 1889, a few weeks after he had moved to Arles. He was inspired by the fields of irises that he saw near his home and by the Japanese prints that he had been studying. The painting is now in the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Who was famous for drawing flowers?

Well, there are many famous artists who have drawn flowers throughout history. Some of the most notable include Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Claude Monet.
Each artist had their own unique way of depicting flowers and capturing their beauty. For example, Van Gogh was known for his expressive use of color and bold brushstrokes, while O’Keeffe was renowned for her depictions of large, close-up blooms. Monet, meanwhile, is credited with helping to establish the impressionist movement with his paintings of natural scenes bathed in soft light.

What type of art is flower art?

Flower art is a type of art that features flowers as the main subject. The flowers can be either real or artificial, and they can be arranged in any way the artist desires.
Flower art can be used to celebrate all sorts of occasions, from weddings and birthdays to Easter and Christmas. It’s also often used in floral arrangements and bouquets. Many people enjoy flower art because it is both beautiful and delicate, and it can brighten up any room or space.

What does flower painting mean in art?

Flower painting, or floral painting, is a genre of painting that focuses on the depiction of flowers. It can be done in a variety of styles, but most often it is done in a realistic manner.
Floral paintings often capture the natural beauty of flowers and their delicate details. They can be used to evoke feelings of springtime, freshness, and vitality. Many artists enjoy painting flowers because they are able to create a sense of movement and life within their works.

What is the art of flowers called?

The art of flowers is called Ikebana.
Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arrangement. It is a highly disciplined and intricate form of floral design that can take many years to master. The goal of ikebana is to create a beautiful and harmonious composition using as few plants as possible. In order to do this, the artist must understand the principles of balance, proportion, line, and form.

What are flower sculptures called?

There are a variety of names for flower sculptures, depending on their composition and the materials used to make them. Examples include floral sculpture, ikebana, and topiary.

What elements of art are flowers?

Flowers can be seen as an element of flower art because of their ability to evoke an emotional response from the viewer. They can also be considered art due to their intricate shapes and design, as well as the different colours and textures that they can exhibit.
Flowers can serve as a beautiful addition to any room or landscape, and their fragrance can add a wonderful dimension to the experience. Whether you’re looking at flowers in a garden or arranged in a vase, they are sure to add beauty and elegance to any setting.

Is flower arrangement a form of art?

Yes! Flower arrangement is an flower art form that has been practiced for centuries.
The goal of flower arrangement is to create a beautiful and harmonious composition using flowers and other natural elements. There are many different techniques and styles, and each artist has their own signature style.
Flower arrangement is a challenging and rewarding art form, and it can be a great way to express your creativity. If you’re interested in learning more, there are many classes and workshops available. Or you can simply experiment with different combinations of flowers until you find your own unique style.

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