Planning & Inspiration
Finding Wedding Flower Inspiration through Famous Works of Art
Flowers have been the muse of artists for centuries. In Italian Renaissance painting, delicate botanicals bared symbolic meaning. The Impressionists painted blossoms to express their perceptions of the natural world. But you don’t have to be an artist to understand the innate power that a flower holds. Just think about the intoxicating beauty of a garden in full bloom, or how a rose is used as a gesture of emotion, communicating love or sympathy at times when words are hard to find.
The floral motif in art is vastly rich. For this reason, we thought it would be fun to curate a collection of artworks and explore how each piece can be used as inspiration for the bride-to-be who is in the process of choosing her wedding flowers.
Dutch Still Life Paintings of Flowers
During the Dutch Golden Age, artists showed their masterful skill creating still-life paintings, and flowers were a popular subject. Rachel Ruysch ran right alongside her male contemporaries, enjoying a successful career thanks to her distinctive style and beautiful flower paintings. Ruysch’s vibrant bouquets are rendered with exquisite detail, inviting the viewer to search for symbols and hidden surprises.
The expressive color palette, variety of textures, and unique flower combinations of the old masters form a springboard of ideas for wedding blooms. We love the idea of recreating the floral still-life as a table centerpiece, but with a modern spin. Mixing asymmetry with a natural feeling arrangement gives a nice juxtaposition to the overall design.
Georgia O’Keeffe, Calla Lily Turned Away, 1923
No other artist knew flowers better than Georgia O’Keeffe. Her up-close, abstract renderings of flowers captivate with sensual forms and soft graduations of color. One of O’Keeffe’s most famous works, Calla Lilly Turned Away, reveals the quiet beauty held by a single flower.
Elegant and sophisticated, the calla lily is a perfect flower for the traditional bride. A simple bouquet of trumpet-shaped blossoms in crisp white is timeless, yet chic. Cast a mood of modern romance with a sleek, airy tablescape that pairs the calla lily with white roses.
Henri Fantin-Latour, Roses in a Stemmed Glass, 1875
French painter Henri Fantin-Latour was known for his luxurious paintings of flowers, the rose in particular. There’s a striking duality to his works such as Roses in a Stemmed Glass, which wavers between technical precision and romanticism.
Forget the assumption that roses are too traditional or overused. Surprisingly versatile, the rose speaks the language of love in many different ways. Soft pink roses paired with chrysanthemums and greenery set an amorous tone in a table centerpiece. While a standard nosegay bouquet for bridesmaids gets a dreamy makeover by matching cream and pastel roses with sprigs of dusty miller.
Robert Mapplethorpe, Orchids, 1989
Defined by a balanced composition and high contrast between light and dark, Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs of flowers like Orchids exude grace and strength. Infused with a still, extraordinary beauty, the bloom’s transfixing power takes center stage.
For the bride who wants wedding flowers that are polished, yet exotic, white orchids are a wonderful choice. For dramatic elegance, emphasize the flower’s suspending curve. A cascading wedding bouquet of soft hued roses and white orchids looks absolutely divine going down the aisle. To create an atmosphere of spectacular romance, accent a tall table centerpiece with descending orchids.
Vincent van Gogh, Irises, 1890
Vincent van Gogh took comfort in painting flowers during his stay at the asylum at Saint-Rémy. A delicate serenity is sensed in his interpretation of the violet flower, which places an arrangement in a simple white vase against a faint pink background.
Irises are an ideal choice for the bride planning her wedding for late spring/early summer, when the flower is in season. White roses are a wonderful counterbalance to deep purple, producing a bridal bouquet that feels fresh and tranquil. A centerpiece of vivid irises accompanied with dianthus fashions a look that is stylish, yet refined.
The spellbinding allure of flowers is immortalized in many of art history’s most celebrated works. We hope this art-inspired guide helps the bride whether she’s searching for that special blossom that speaks to her heart, or in need of unique floral design ideas.