Most Powerful Flower Paintings

By Samuel Phineas Upham

Flowers serve as artistic inspiration for many artists, writers and poets. In fact, Andy Warhol is said to have turned to flowers on numerous occasions to act as a muse for his work. In this brief memento, we look at some of the most timeless and inspiring art based on flowers.

Monet’s Blue Water Lillies

As an older man, Monet confessed that he took greater pride in his garden than his artwork. His favorite garden consisted of a pond of waterlillies that he grew at Giverny. Each flower is broad and white, the background a mishmash of greens and blues. It is mid afternoon, the sky is blue and the painting seems to merge or dissolve the surface and the depth of the water. This painting is interesting because the closer it is viewed, the more difficult it is to discern the various flowers on the canvas thanks to the illegible brush strokes.

Manet’s Lilacs in a Vase

Manet was in the throes of illness at the end of his life, and friends attempted to console him by bringing him flowers. He became fascinated by the way the stems were refracted through the water and the glass vase. He produced almost portraits of these flowers, including posies and lilac.

Van Gogh’s Vase with Pink Roses

Van Gogh brought together a stunning combination of sunflowers, irises and cherry blossoms in various paintings. Still, his portrait of pink roses, whose color has faded to white, perfectly captures the incandescence of the flower. Painted against a green background, the whites and line work stand out against the splashes of paint behind them.


About the Author: Samuel Phineas Upham is an investor at a family office/ hedgefund, where he focuses on special situation illiquid investing. Before this position, Phin Upham was working at Morgan Stanley in the Media and Telecom group. You may contact Phin on his Facebook.