Note: Floral arrangements inspired by In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism will be featured at the Denver Art Museum in the atrium of the Hamilton Building through October 11. This blog post is about the arrangement created by Birdsall & Co., which will be on display August 13-19.
This arrangement speaks to the simple idea flowing through almost all impressionist paintings of flowers—celebrating the beauty of flowers without harnessing them.
The marriage of demure carnations with naturally rambling honeysuckle vines is the intersection of the formal backgrounds of early impressionist tableaux and the casual beauty of the simple still lifes that followed. The mass of deep red carnations conjures up ornate paintings and decadent colors, the luxury of nature’s sheer opulence. In stark contrast, the natural movement of the honeysuckle finds grace in the details of a single stem plucked from the garden, standing in a glass right off the shelf.
The Vietnamese terracotta container is reminiscent of the sun-baked soil of southern France, and its visual (and physical!) weight is a pleasant contrast to the delicate forms of the blooms it contains.
This bouquet is also a love letter to the often-disdained carnation. But what is more beautiful than an armful of these ruffled petals? Like a floral Little Black Dress, the carnation is a timeless bloom that deserves to be the center of attention from time to time.
Both blooms are highly accessible to any flower-lover, a nod to the impressionist interpretations of recognizable flowers straight from the garden, a celebration of nature that is always close at hand, if you’re paying attention.
This is the biophilic philosophy we at Birdsall & Co. live by; we feel that bringing the natural world into our daily lives forces us all to stop and smell the roses, in both the literal and figurative senses.