Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016


Botanical Studies

[Unless credited otherwise, all images are my own screengrabs from Green Card.]

[Click to see full screen.]

In early 1990s Green Card, horticulturist Bronte (played by Andie MacDowell) lives surrounded by plants -- fresh flowering and non-flowering varieties in her much-coveted apartment greenhouse, on her terrace, and throughout her indoor rooms. There are also artist's representations of plants on her walls and floral fabrics at every turn. If you're zeroed-in on the jaw-droppingly-beautiful conservatory, you may not notice, on a conscious level at least, exactly how much botanical imagery is used by production designer Wendy Stites and her team. 

Next time you watch the movie, see how many floral goods you can spot. And in case you're inclined to do a little botanical exploration when you're out and about, here's some inspiration:

[McEwen via Kew]

[Detail of McEwen's work]
On view at Kew through September 22 is Rory McEwen: The Colours of Reality, a look at the musician and artist's almost photo-realist paintings, sketchbooks and collages. For those of us who won't make it to the UK to see the show in person, there's a beautifully illustrated catalogue.

And a short video here.

This 19th-century Indian watercolor is not currently on view at the MFA, Boston, but the Museum has myriad other floral-themed pieces out in its galleries.

Objects like this 16th-century Vietnamese elephant-shaped ewer, which appears to me to be flower-covered.

Another 16th-century Vietnamese ceramic, this softly-colored blossom-rimmed dish was included in the MFA's 2007 show, The Elephant and the Lotus. On the European front, the Museum owns a lavishly executed, naturalistic floral painting by Dutch master Jan van Huysum.

[Rachel Ruysch, Vase of Flowers, 1700. Oil on canvas. Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis, The Hague. Image via the de Young.] 

Starting June 23, visitors to Atlanta's High Museum of Art will have a chance to see court painter Rachel Ruysch's approach to flowers. One of her works is included in Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis. I'll confirm this tomorrow, but I believe visitors will find in the High shop Ruysch post cards to take home and tack to the wall a la Bronte.

Taschen has influential 19th-century botany professor, Carl Friedrich Philipp von Martius's folio, The Book of Palms.

[Via Taschen]

While the MFA offers Gardens in Perpetual Bloom, a study of centuries of flowers depicted in art by Pierre-Joseph Redouté and others.

In the Northwest, Jennifer Ament builds on the tradition with her Earthly Delights series of hand-carved, hand-printed linocuts.

[Ament's Starburst Pine]

Shifting to the Midwest, The Nelson-Atkins has a collection of Brett Weston's botanical photography.

[Weston, Botanical, Ferns, ca. 1985 Gelatin silver print]
And if anyone ever does a Green Card remake, I nominate Stella McCartney to consult on costume design. Her mix of feminine florals and slouchy boy-ish pieces could suit a 2014 Bronte.

[McCartney Resort 2014 via Vogue]

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