“Van Gogh in Bloom”: A Botanical Exploration of Impressionism

“Van Gogh in Bloom”: A Botanical Exploration of Impressionism

Isabella Viator '22, Magazine Editor

“Painters understand nature and love it, and it teaches us to see.” – Vincent Van Gogh


Phipps’s summer exhibit this year was: “Van Gogh in Bloom.” This multi-medium exhibit, designed by Jordyn Melino, immerses the viewer into a botanical recreation of Van Gogh’s paintings. At the entrance of the gardens, a massive floral portrait of Van Gogh, made of hundreds of cut flowers and foliage, greets each visitor with its melancholy gaze. The scenes within the exhibit include a print of the original painting and background information on Van Gogh and the individual works of art. The recreations feature lights, topiary figures, hanging sculptures, bodies of water, and, of course, thousands of vibrant blossoms and greenery. Famous paintings such as “Starry Night” and “Olive Trees with Yellow Sky and Sun” come alive in a three-dimensional interpretation of the colors and forms that make the works so iconic. 

 This exhibit explores the versatility of impressionist art and celebrates artistic liberties.           

Art throughout the years has evolved. In ancient times, it was executed in a mathematical fashion. As time went on, art evolved, but always came with a set of rules. Leading into the 19th century, success in art directly correlated with detail, precision, and accuracy. Once impressionism gained popularity, for the first time the realism of the painting was not what made the painting valuable.  The vibrancy and portrayal of light using depth and color became paramount. Art became what it is today: an exploration of emotion using color, shapes, and depth, without rules and regulations. Van Gogh is arguably the most influential impressionist painter, so it makes sense that his art lives on in countless artistic recreations and interpretations. The Phipps helps keep his legacy and the legacy of impressionism alive in today’s artistic culture.