See what I’ve been up to in my latest art newsletter – a painting of Roman-era pottery: https://mailchi.mp/81e490ed3fe6/newsletter_tanjamoderscheimartnews
Oil on fine linen, 40cm x 40cm
Heritage tulip painting project
Dutch heritage tulips, 16th to 19th C
I’ve always had a thing for history and heritage. Being a Dutch expat in the United Kingdom (yes, don’t mention Brexit), I’ve long wanted to paint tulips and ideally tulips that were fashionable in 17th-century Holland, when we were even more under the spell of the tulip than we are today. Tulipmania (“tulpenmanie”or “tulpengekte”) was a period (1635-1637) in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for some bulbs of the recently introduced and fashionable tulip reached extraordinarily high levels and then dramatically collapsed in February 1637 [Wikipedia].
Do any of the tulips from the tulpenmanie period still exist? Yes, old genetic stocks can still be purchased through Hortus Bulborum, a foundation in The Netherlands that functions as a gene bank and propagates historical heirloom bulbs. Some of these are no longer in commercial production (http://www.hortus-bulborum.nl). Every year I purchase several varieties from between 1595 and 1850 and plant them in my garden. I then paint series of paintings when the flowers surface, which is from mid-April onwards. I keep a photo library as well.
You can see some of the paintings below. Most of the heritage tulips, unlike the ones we have today, have a distinctive crown-like shape and pointy petals; some varieties are comparatively short. Their colour is amazingly deep and rich. Painting them gives me an opportunity to celebrate Dutch cultural heritage.
In the 2019 tulip season (April-May), I’ll be visiting the Hortus Bulborum to paint tulips in their gardens. I’ll be especially looking to record the legendary and rare Zomerschoon tulip, which was first intoduced in 1620 and was very popular during the Tulpenmanie period. I’ll also be on the look-out for the parrot tulip ‘Perfecta” (1750).
A previous newsletter providing background on my latest tulip painting can be read here: https://mailchi.mp/5b50d39fd6e4/tulips_tanjamoderscheim_artnews-2299197
In September 2019 Tanja was warmly welcomed as a new fellow member of the Society of Botanical Artists, UK. The decision was made based on her work with Dutch heritage tulips. For more information about the SBA, please visit www.soc-botanical-artists.org
Tulips grown in my garden in the 2017/18 season:
Duc van Tol Rood & Geel (1595), Lac van Rijn (1620), Duc van Tol Max Cramoisi (1700), Wapen van Leiden (1750), Keizerskroon (1750), Zilver Standaard (1760), Gouden Standaard (1760), Duc van Tol Scharlaken (1850).
Tulip varieties planted in the 2018/19 season:
Above tulips, and also: Tulipa sylvestris (<1600), Red hue (<1700), Paeony gold (<1700), Duc van Tol violet (<1700), Duc van Tol Rose (1700), Absalon Rembrandt (1780), Purple Crown (1785), Rose Louisante fol. var. (1850), Bessie (<1857), Spaendonck (<1893).
Additionally planted: Fritillaria meleagris (1573).
Dutch heritage tulips, 16th to 19th C, 40″ x 30″ (101cm x 76cm), oil on fine linen
A pair of Zilver Standaard (1760) paintings, 11cm x 18cm, oil on wood panel
Dutch 17th-19th century tulips, 30cm 40cm, oil on fine linen
Dutch 17th-19th century tulips, detail: Zilver Standaard, Keizerskroon; Duc van Tol Scharlaken, Zilver Standaard; Gouden Standaard
Ode to Bosschaert: Zilver Standaard (1760), Duc van Tol Max Cramoisi (1700), Duc van Tol Rood en Geel (1595), Gouden Standaard (1760), 22.8cm x 30.5 cm (9″ x 12″), oil on Belgian fine linen
Wapen van Leiden (1750), 14cm x 24cm, oil on wood panel
Duc van Tol Max Cramoisi & Rood en Geel, 14cm x 24cm, oil on wood panel
Dutch heritage tulips, 20cm x 40cm, oil on fine linen
Dutch artist Tanja Moderscheim paints 9 finalists of the 2016 BBC Food & Farming Awards
On the 28th of April 2016 the BBC4 Food Programme held their annual Food & Farming Awards. The Award’s mission is “to honour those who have done most to promote the cause of good food” (source: BBC Food and Farming Awards) and is often referred to as the Oscars of Great Britain’s food world. The Awards were hosted and presented by BBC Radio 4’s Sheila Dillon, and some of Britain’s best-known chefs, broadcasters and food writers including Yotam Ottolenghi, Ken Hom, Jancis Robinson, Diana Henry, Mitch Tonks, Angela Hartnett and Stefan Gates celebrated with her. The announcement of the winners of the evening can be seen at www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/latestnews/2016/food-and-farming-winners.
As part of my project painting locally grown produce and celebrating the country’s culinary heritage and small businesses (see my previous blog post from February 2016) I painted the produce and products of 9 of the BBC Food & Farming Awards finalists:
It was great working with the finalists, as I learnt about these wonderful producers and the stories behind their businesses, what drives them, the ethical values they want to pass on and the beautiful parts of the country they work in. They were more than happy to send ingredients/produce and work with me to discuss how best to show off their produce, ingredients and business, on wood panel.
Gourmet Goat, run by Nick and Nadia Stokes, were Best Street Food Winners. They sell kid goat meat dishes at Borough Market, London. Their recipes and food have a strong Eastern Mediterranean influence which I sought to bring out in my painting for the Food & Farming Awards. Nick suggested I included the floor tiles of their stall at Borough Market in my painting. These tiles have been brought from Cyprus and complement the goat kofta, Cypriot pita and the various ingredients, spices and herbs in the painting.
Watch this space for more paintings of the finalists.