The greatest flower artists have been those who have found beauty in truth; who have understood plants scientifically, but who have yet seen and described them with the eye and hand of the artist. Wilfrid Blunt - Ch. 1 The Flower Artist in "The Art of Botanical Illustration"
The oldest botanical illustrations, which were found, date from the 6th century. The emphasis of those scientific illustrations was to record with accuracy, in the smallest details, the plants and herbs to be able to identify them. They got very popular in the 18th and 19th century, beside being scientifically valid, they also got a more artistic appeal as there was an increasing interest in discovering nature, and not only by gardeners or natural historians. At that time a lot of botanical books and magazines were published, which made it more accessible to the general reader.
For botanical art the emphasis is on the plant but there is not all the details and information which is required by the botanist, scientist or medic. It is more about the aesthetic value of the illustration of the plant or flower.
Botanical prints will always be around. It stays a popular wall art in interior design, specially in classical or country style houses. But what if we would take a look on a more modern approach of those prints so we can integrate it also in a modern home.
Lets take a look how we can use those botanical prints in a modern way. First thing which came to my mind were the murals which are getting more and more popular. Such a classical print blown up to fill your wall is not so classical, right? And you will have immediately the focus point in the room, so take care not to use to many other big prints. You can repeat the colors, which you find in the print, in small structural weaves, and add some wood to give it warmth.
Let the botanical prints inspire you to get out in nature, when you get home you dry what you brought back from your trip on the countryside. Show them afterwards as art, framed between two pieces of glass and you can even hang it in front of the window to let the light play with it. Ever thought of taking just one flower or a branch and turn it almost in a piece of art, there is so much beauty in nature that it is art on its own. Take a look how the Japanese master the Ikebana.
A fresh approach when those classical drawings are printed on a surface different from paper, it looks very natural printed on wood, ready to be turned into a notebook. Maria Burachu of Woodish will make one, specially for you with you preferred plant.
Those flower illustrations will look perfect on wallpaper, to give you countryside dining room a spring look all year round. But once you have this wallpaper on a chest of drawers or another piece of furniture you will see it gets a different story and can fit easily into a nursery, kids' room or will bring a fresh romantic note in the master bedroom.
Blow up, mixed up, as a statement or framed in a fragile way, nature can inspire each of us. It can be used in a classical way or get very eclectic. You choose your style and the right way to use those botanical illustrations will come to your mind.
And it is not only an inspiration for the interior design world, knitwear companies are making playful interpretations. Autumn gets more fun with those socks of Bonne Maison
What do you say about the modern approach for a classical cider brand? I would buy it, it looks cool. Here again: blown up so the whole drawing is not on the surface for a modern look, as you want to attract new clients to your classical brand. So think twice when you see such an old fashioned botanical print. And not only a botanical print, think out of the box with whatever you see, take a fresh look on things looking at it from a different perspective.
So how to use the botanical illustriations
- blown up for a super modern look
- framed in a different way
- put your print on a different surface and frame it
- for the classic home: as wallpaper, printed fabric for upholstery, pillows, ceramics
- or get those socks, autumn is around
- make a walk on countryside and collect some flowers
Hope you got inspired, and maybe next weekend you start making your journal, or you get to the flea market and find some vintage prints and get decorating your room.