The colour, shape and symbolism of plants have all contributed to their use in art. This course will look at a selection of plants and explore why and how they have given inspiration, focusing on paintings. From van Gogh’s sunflowers and Mondrian’s amaryllis to O’Keefe’s calla lilies, flowers have been a beautiful and popular subject for artists. Trees like cypress and birch appear in paintings, along with a wide range of other plants. And sometimes plants have been included as symbols to send the viewer a message to explain the image, or convey some moral instruction. We will consider examples of practical ways in which plants have found their way into paintings, including contributing the surface to paint on or the materials and pigments to paint with.