One of the main events of the summer season is the Chelsea Flower Show.  It is held in May for five days by the Royal Horticultural Society and has been at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, since 1912.
The worlds biggest annual flower show started in 1990 and is held in July at Hampton Court and the many flower exhibits flank both sides of Hampton Court Palace.
We have always given and received flowers to mark important occasions in our lives and the Victorians, in particular, had a fascination with the language of flowers.The paintings of the Pre- Raphaelites were laden with flower symbolism. Millais’ portrayal of Ophelia is one such example.
  • Flowers in a Vase, Jan Brueghel the Elder.
  • Photograph : National Museum of Art Bucharest
Another major flower event this summer was the Dutch Flower Exhibition from the 6th to the 29th August at the National Gallery.Twenty two pictures were on display together in one room and the exciting thing was that half of them were on loan from private collections.
“The  exhibition explores Dutch flower paintings from it’s beginnings in the early 17th century to it’s peak in the late 18th century, and is the first display of it’s kind in 20 years.
” Dutch Flowers” presents an overview of the leading artists in the field such as Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, Jan van Huysum, and Rachel Ruysch, proving a chance to admire their stylistic and technical characteristics, and the exquisite details of their paintings.”  National gallery
  • James Noble 1919-89
  • Pansies and wallflowers
  • Oil on board. Signed
  • 44cm x 38cm
James Noble is a painter of flowers who was greatly inspired by the 17th century Dutch  painters. His first solo exhibition was at the Bond Street Gallery, London. He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy.
  • Arthur Henry Knighton- Hammond 1875-1970
  • Study of flowers
  • Oil on Canvas. Signed.
  • 76cm x 63 cm
  • SOLD

Knighton Hammond was an English painter best known for landscapes, society portraits and industrial paintings. He was born in Arnold, Nottinghamshire ,and moved to London in 1900 to make it as a painter. During WWI he was commisioned to draw buildings and plants in northern England and in 1920 he was given a commision by Herbert Dow in Michegan to do a series of paintings of his chemical plant.

This work led to the artist being elected a member of the American Watercolor Society.He lived for a number of years on the Continent, often returning to Britain for exhibitions. His friend, Prince Nicholas of Greece,collected his paintings and Queen Mary visited one of his watercolour exhibitions in 1924. In 1933 he was asked to paint the former Prime minister, David Lloyd George. Later in life he lived in Sussex and became friends with and painted portraits of Sir Frank Brangwyn and Edward Johnston which are both in the National Portrait Gallery.
He was given membership of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours, The Pastel Society, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. There is a very in depth book of his life and work written by Peter Norris.
  • ” Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose”
  • John Singer Sargent
  • Oil on canvas
  • 174 cm x 153.7 cm
The title and painting is based on the song “Ye Shepherds Tell Me ” which has the lyrics Flora is wearing  “A wreath around her head, around her head she wore, Carnation,lily, lily, rose “.
The painting, set in an English garden,  shows two children dressed in white,, lighting lanterns. They are surrounded by pink roses , yellow carnations and very tall white lilies. Sargent painted outdoors everyday to catch the same light at dusk . It took from September to November 1885 to complete .He painted it in an Impressionistic style.It was shown at the Royal Academy in 1887and although reaction to the painting was mixed, the Tate Gallery purchased the painting  on the advice of the President of the RA , Sir Frederick Leighton.

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