Now this is something very special…flower arrangements inspired by wonderful paintings!
The partnership started in March this year and this month, I was invited to the launch of seven new stunning flower arrangements which have been added to the range.
We started off with a presentation by Nikki Tibbles and Julie Molloy, Managing Director of the National Gallery Company.
Nikki told us how delighted she was to be given such an amazing opportunity to work with and spend time in the National Gallery.
She’s really enjoyed the whole process, from touring the gallery to choose the individual paintings to learning about the stories behind each piece of art.
She said that she chose paintings which could be replicated as easily as possible throughout the year, however due to the seasonality of flowers, content may vary, which means that each bouquet is its own unique work of art.
Nikki talked us through each arrangement and the painting which inspired its creation.
Her favourite painting was Holbein’s ‘A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling’. She loved the textures and colours, especially the exquisite teal blue background. She also felt that it had a contemporary feel.
So, she created a textured white and cream bouquet wrapped in chocolate brown paper to reflect the squirrel and turquoise ribbon to tie in with the background.
The painting of ‘Madame Moitessier’ by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres was a perfect choice as a painting to be reflected in flowers, as the lady depicted is wearing a beautiful pink and blue floral-patterned dress.
The spring-style bouquet which Nikki has designed reflects the delicacy of the painting and includes hot pink and blue blooms. It’s wrapped in translucent parchment-like paper and is bound with a carefully sourced floral ribbon that echoes the pattern of the lady’s dress.
Dutch Still Life has always been one Nikki’s favourite styles of paintings and she chose Paulus Theodorus van Brussel’s painting, ‘Flowers in a Vase’, to depict in flowers. Interestingly, on studying the painting, she realised that all the flowers don’t grow at the same time, which is due to how long the paintings took.
So, the arrangement contains an eclectic collection of blooms. It will always be delivered in a rustic basket, but will include an odd mix of flowers, just as depicted by the painting. No single arrangement will be the same.
Jan van Eyck’s painting, ‘The Arnolfini Portrait’ inspired this bouquet, perfect for sending at Christmas, with red garden roses and green hydrangea, guelder rose and hypericum berries.
The range includes three high quality silk flower arrangements. A new one to the collection is this bouquet inspired by the Thomas Gainsborough painting, ‘Mr and Mrs Andrews.’ The light blue colour of Mrs Andrews’ dress is represented in the bouquet by soft blue hydrangeas and the textures of the gently rolling English countryside are represented by the light green hydrangeas and corn.
The National Gallery holds special exhibitions and from November 9th 2011 until February 5th 2012, Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan is taking place.
Nikki has created a bouquet inspired by da Vinci’s painting, ‘The Virgin of the Rocks’. It features lilac roses, silver thistle and red hypericum berries. The arrangement will be wrapped in silver paper and bound with a midnight blue ribbon; alternatively, it’s available in a pewter vase.
Inspired by Akseli Gallen-Kallela’s painting, ‘Lake Keitele’ and perfect to decorate your home at Christmas, Nikki has created a beautiful wreath of pine, frosted twigs and everlasting eucalyptus with white-dusted pine cones, white magnolia flowers and midnight blue baubles. She’s also designed a matching table arrangement.
All these art-inspired flower arrangements come in various sizes and can be ordered online via the National Gallery’s website, with prices starting from £35 plus delivery. Each arrangement is accompanied by a gift card featuring the painting from which it was inspired. Delivery can be made anywhere in London area within 24 hours and the rest of the UK within 48 hours, if you place your order before 2pm.
Well done to the National Gallery for being so innovative and thinking ‘outside of the box’.
What I loved about the flower arrangements was Nikki’s attention to detail. She had meticulously researched each piece of art and was very specific on not only the flowers, but also the packaging.
I feel she’s truly captured the mood, colours, textures and overall feel of each of the chosen paintings with these gorgeous bouquets.
There are now 23 stunning arrangements which are perfect gifts to send, especially to art-lovers, for birthdays, anniversaries, to say thank you or at Christmas.
And for those of you who are not familiar with the National Gallery, it houses one of the greatest collections of Western European paintings from 1250 to 1900, with visitor numbers in excess of 4.5 million every year…and entry is free.
If you’re looking for unusual Christmas present ideas, the National Gallery shops are located at The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London, WC2N 5DN. Every purchase from the shops and restaurants generates valuable revenue for the gallery to ensure that future generations are able to enjoy the paintings as we do today.
I highly recommend a visit, the next time you’re in London…
(Images : Rona Wheeldon for Flowerona/National Gallery)