Blooming Art – Artistic Flower Design Series

Blooming Art is a series of floral paraphrases that me and Petra Radnai made in the end of 2019.
Every single picture that we choose to imitate we observed in many different ways.
Petra reflected on the style of the original paintings during her work. She was using different type of compositions to bring extra additional meaning to each piece. She also chose the type of the flowers based on the personality of the characters she was imitating.
I had three different focuses during the process: backgrounds, lighting and the postproduction. The goal was to create a context to each piece with the painted backgrounds. I was lighting each floral composition similarly as the recreated characters had on the paintings. Finally I edit the brightness, colors and the texture of the photographs in the most identical way as it was possible comparing to the original paintings.



Art history:
The Creation Of Adam is a fresco painted by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1509–1510 as part
of the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling in Vatican City.
It is an exemplary piece of Italian High Renaissance art.
The left side of the fresco depicts Adam leaning on his elbow on the ground, while God is
lying in the hands of floating angels on the right. The painting focuses on the moment of
creation with a gap between the two fingers to mark that the act of creation is not a physical-
material one as God brings the first human spirit to life from a state of unconsciousness and

Floral design:
Flower and arrangement:
When creating the composition, we paid particular attention to Michelangelo’s style of
painting, the spatial arrangement of God and Adam and represented the floating figure of God
with a suspended composition. While selecting the flowers, we did not only consider colours,
but the monumentality, aerial lightness, discipline and omnipotence of God as well. These
traits are represented by thick peonies and Charles Darwin roses, loosely structured
eucalyptuses and thorny, woody Mahonias. For the character of Adam, we selected smaller,
thicker and simpler flowers mainly based on colour, therefore, we primarily used Dianthuses,
bouquets of mini roses and Lisianthuses. We have chosen a Digitalis to reflect the grace and
lightness of the two hands at the centre of the painting.
We wanted to depict the floating figure of God in sharp contrast with human Adam lying on
the ground. Michelangelo paints the scene in an ethereal void with bright light shining from
slightly above. To achieve a similar effect, we provided lighting for the flower arrangement
slightly from above with two lamps positioned in the middle.
The fresco is characterized by mild colours, strong contours and creamy, radiating light. We
created this atmosphere by boosting vivid and bright tones, while slightly desaturating colours
and reducing noise.




Art history:
Fra Angelico is also known as the painter of Annunciations. This particular piece of art depicts
the angel Gabriel and the Virgin Mary at the moment of the Annunciation. We wanted to
outline the angel entering the building where the Virgin Mary is sitting. The composition
recreates their posture and their location.

Floral design:
Flower and arrangement:
Our main aim was to imitate the colours characterizing Fra Angelico’s painting style. The
attention of the Virgin Mary and the angel towards each other is marked by the location and
the angle of the flowers. We have selected soft flowers like garden roses, Lisianthuses and
small-headed roses to reflect the gentle and sensitive nature of the figures. We marked the
wing of the angel with a crane flower, which we also used to keep the composition in balance
and to represent the kneeling leg of the angel entering the room. The Virgin Mary’s blue dress
is made out of the radiant blue fruit of Viburnum and silver-leafed Begonias.
Lighting: In Fra Angelico’s painting, light comes in from the left side behind the angel. We
have lighted the arrangement with two constant lights from the left and brightened it from the
other side to preserve the sunlit effect of the original painting.
Despite clear contour lines, the painting is characterized by low contrasts. Mostly pastel
colours create a gentle harmony. This atmosphere was recreated by desaturation, increasing
sharpness and softening clarity and contrast during post-processing.




Art history:
Jacques Louis David (1748–1825) was the first significant painter of French classicism and
he later became one of Napoleon’s favourites. His portrait of Madame Récamier with its
captivating style and the vibrant, unique painting method of the background is an outstanding
piece of art. Julie or Juliette Récamier (originally Jeanne-Françoise Julie Adélaïde Bernard)
was a leading figure of early 19th century literary and political society.
Juliette opened a salon as a meeting place for a select group of people.
The beautiful young lady was surrounded by adorers. She was among the first ones to furnish
her residence in an Etruscan style. She was wearing antique clothes at the time of the
Directory contributing to the popularity of the antique style during imperial rule.
Her salon played a significant role in the political-intellectual life of the era.
Floral design:
Flower and arrangement:
Madame Recamier is represented by soft, gentle flowers resembling her character and
graceful beauty, such as David Austin roses, Lisianthuses, Digitalises and Ranunculuses.
The figure of the lying lady is outlined by a stretched-out composition. A textile material
completes the arrangement to underline the association.
The light in the painting comes in from one point in the centre top. We used two lamps in the
middle and we raised the stronger light source to achieve a similar effect for the arrangement.
The brush technique in the painting is gentle at the figure of the Madame, but much stronger
and rougher for the surroundings. This texture is marked by increased grain, while the
gripping difference between light and shadow in the painting is recreated by the significantly
increased contrast.




Art history:
Isaac Israëlst (1865–1934) is considered to be one of the greatest figures of modern Dutch
painting besides Van Gogh and Mondrian.
He loved to submerge in the vibrant and colourful world of streets, clubs, music and dance
cafés, fashion and the life of Amsterdam. His main aim was to capture the present moment
quickly. In case of this café scene, we worked with the whole composition including the focus
on the moment, the brush technique and the spectacular colour dynamics.
Floral design:
Flower and arrangement:
When selecting the flowers and creating the arrangement, we mainly concentrated on the
vibrant lights and small brush strokes characterizing the impressionist painting style. The
swirling colours of the original painting are reflected by the flowers. The orange of the lady’s
drink in the painting is marked by unique, strong yellow of Ranunculuses and Juliet roses.
Lighting: The painting depicts the interiors of a room, where light comes in from the top left.
We illuminated our arrangement the same way with a lamp and softly brightened the flowers
from the other side. Light also penetrates the orange liquid in the glass, therefore, we let
some natural light into the room to emphasise the orange flowers.
Our aim was to showcase the bold brush strokes characterising impressionist artists, which
are bright spots rather than contour lines. We slightly increased the contrast of the picture to
accentuate these spots. At the same time we reduced noise and created a unique texture
marked by soft grain.





Art history:
Degas loved to feature dancers in his paintings. Star of the Ballet portraying Rosita Maurit is a
pastel created with monotyping. Monotypes are imprints of a drawing originally created on a
copper or glass plate and then transferred to a sheet of paper by pressing the two surfaces
together. Star of the Ballet was showcased on the third exhibition of the impressionists.
The painting is realistic and supernatural at the same time. The playful lights and the original
perspective contribute to the extraordinary effect. Behind the scenes dancers and a man are
watching the prima ballerina. They are merely torsos without heads, the painting focuses on
the ballet dancer, who graciously bows in front of the audience.
Floral design:
Flower and arrangement:
When creating the flower arrangement, we wanted to reflect on the aerial lightness of Degas’
ballet dancer. Therefore, we have chosen soft-petalled David Austin roses, Ranunculuses
and Lisianthuses. The location of the flowers, the structure of the composition marks the
charming and dynamic movements of the ballerina. Her gracious hand position is outlined by
the arch of a hazel branch.
Lighting: As a theatrical scene the composition is angled upwards, therefore, we took the
photo from slightly above. It is illuminated from below, at the height of the imaginary stage.
Two lamps are lighting the arrangement from the bottom right and we also brightened the
flowers slightly.
Post-processing: During post-processing, we desaturated the colours to create a softer,
pastel effect and increased contrast and grain to achieve a texture resembling the painting.




Art history:
In the 17th century, anatomy lectures were open door events attended by doctors, medical
students and other visitors. The painting probably depicts a public autopsy organized on 31
January 1632 and conducted by Dr Nicolaes Tulp, the anatomist of Amsterdam. The city
permitted only one public autopsy per year for which they used the body of an executed
Rembrandt was commissioned by the Guild of Surgeons in Amsterdam to capture the event
and every figure in the painting paid a fee to the artist to be featured in the masterpiece.

Floral design:
Flower and arrangement:
We tried to capture the play of lights and shadows characteristic of Rembrandt, while creating
the flower arrangement. We stuck the flowers in a dark stone bowl and put the composition in
front of a dark background. The dead body in the centre of the painting is marked by thick-
blossomed cream and white roses, which create a homogenous, united structure close to
each other. We only used white flowers for the figures observing the dead body:
Ranunculuses in the foreground and smaller-headed Lisianthuses for the background. The
collars of the doctors are outlined by Kalanchoes.
Lighting: We recreated the distinctive lighting painted by Rembrandt. The main light source
and the brightening was set based on the original, while we also tried to reflect on the soft,
slightly hazy atmosphere, so we utilized incense-burners to thicken the air and create unique
lighting conditions.
We focused on Rembrandt’s subtle and soft brush technique and the marked difference
between lights and shadows. We increased contrast and softened the picture, while reducing





Art history:
In 1599, Caravaggio received his first significant Church commission thanks to Del Monte’s
support. He was invited to paint the chapters of Saint Matthew’s life for the Contarelli Chapel
at the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi. The venture started on the wrong foot as the first
version of Saint Matthew and the Angel was not accepted by the client. They condemned
Caravaggio for painting the saint as an illiterate peasant and they were most likely right as
Saint Matthew was originally a tax collector, who probably could read and write. But the next
four paintings were so successful that Caravaggio became one of the most popular painters
of Rome overnight.
Floral design:
Flower and arrangement:
We concentrated on Caravaggio’s unique choice of colours and the reflection of lights. We
used vivid orange and claret flowers for Matthew’s clothes, such as Lisianthuses, roses and
Dianthuses. We outlined the evangelist on his knees by the arch and two levels of the
arrangement. The aerial figure of the angel is marked with a suspended composition. The
floating apparition is recreated with light, soft roses and faint Dianthuses.
Lighting: In Caravaggio’s paintings light and dark are in bold, dramatic contrast with each
other creating an effect called chiaroscuro. When we set the lighting for the arrangement, we
aimed at recreating this atmosphere. We utilized a light source at the top and slightly
brightened from the front. The orange glimmer of the original painting is evoked by the
candles in the background.
We wanted to accentuate the dramatic effect by increasing contrast, deepening shadows and
strengthening highlights. We also increased grain to mark Caravaggio’s brush technique.


To be continued…