The flower as an artistic motif
One of the special hangings this summer at the Funen Art Museum features a varied bouquet of flower pictures old and new plucked from the museum's collection. With its rich colouring and beauty of form the flower is one of the most favoured motifs of the entire history of art.
As a gratifying and recognisable motif we find it everywhere within design, architecture and - not least - the visual arts, where it is an important and significant symbol. By means of flowers, artists have told us of the antique gods and heroes, of events from Christian belief and the transience of earthly life. More than any other symbol, the motif is used as a metaphor of all of human existence, since it visualises the essence of what is both beautiful and fragile about human life.
In the early 19th century, interest in the motif truly flowered. Inspired by the magnificent Dutch bouquets of the 17th century, the Danish artists of the Golden Age decorate walls, coffee services and plates with tulips, peonies and all the flowers of the forest floor. Nor does this interest in the motif fade away. For, towards the end of the century, precisely the conventionality and recognisability of the motif gives the modern artists a unique opportunity to experiment with space and colour and thereby reflect on the painting as such. The flower as an artistic motif therefore plays an important role in the development of modern painting.
In connection with the exhibition, the Funen Art Museum is organising two one-day workshops on 18 and 19 August 2006 that comprise an art-historical introduction to the flower motif, after which we will let colours run riot and paint the magnificent late-summer dahlias in Eventyrhaven gardens. Organised by museum curator Henriette Nielsen.