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Heritage tulip painting project

Dutch heritage tulips, 16th to 19th C

Historical tulip bouquet by Tanja Moderscheim

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 recent newsletter providing background on my latest tulip painting can be read here: https://mailchi.mp/5b50d39fd6e4/tulips_tanjamoderscheim_artnews-2299197

Tulip varieties

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 for 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 16 to 19 C by Tanja Moderscheim

Dutch heritage tulips, 16th to 19th C, 40″ x 30″ (101cm x 76cm), oil on fine linen

 

single zilver standaard heritage tulips by Tanja Moderscheim

A pair of Zilver Standaard (1760) paintings, 11cm x 18cm, oil on wood panel

 

Dutch 17th to 19th C tulips by Tanja Moderscheim

Dutch 17th-19th century tulips, 30cm 40cm, oil on fine linen

3 tulip details by Tanja Moderscheim

Dutch 17th-19th century tulips, detail: Zilver Standaard, Keizerskroon; Duc van Tol Scharlaken, Zilver Standaard; Gouden Standaard

 

Tulip painting Wapen van Leiden

Wapen van Leiden (1750), 14cm x 24cm, oil on wood panel

 

Tulip painting Max Cramoisi and Red and Yellow by Tanja Moderscheim

Duc van Tol Max Cramoisi & Rood en Geel, 14cm x 24cm, oil on wood panel

 

Dutch heritage tulips by Tanja Moderscheim

Dutch heritage tulips, 20cm x 40cm, oil on fine linen

 

This newsletter can also be viewed here.

February in the Studio: newsletter

Welcome to my February 2018 newsletter. I hope you’ve had a great start to the year! I’ve finally found some time to write this much-needed newsletter, being happily snowed under in painting work.

I’m currently completing three large and small commissioned paintings of fruits and flowers, which have been great and very interesting to work on. I’m also getting ready for five upcoming exhibitions – within the space of four months this a record number for me (and perhaps a bit too ambitious!):

  • Surrey Art Fair, Esher, 23-25 February
  • Affordable Art Fair with Otomys Gallery, Battersea London, 8-11 March
  • Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), Mall Galleries London, 21-31 March
  • Spring Exhibition, Aubergine Art Gallery, Wimbledon, PV 23 March
  • Reading Art Fair, Reading, 20-22 April

Below are a few examples of paintings available at these exhibitions. For an overview of new/available work please get in touch via the contact page.

17th century faience plates by Tanja Moderscheim

Haarlem faience plate with artichoke by Tanja Moderscheim

Sourdough by Tanja Moderscheim

Tickets to the Private Views of the Surrey Art Fair (23 February), Affordable Art Fair (7 March) and RBA Mall Galleries (20 March) as well as daytime tickets, are now available. These can be requested here or via email.

 

Tulips, tulips, tulips

This year is the first time I’ll be exhibiting tulip paintings; 7 tulips will be on show at the Mall Galleries, Surrey Art Fair and Aubergine Art Gallery. There really is no option for me not to paint tulips, being a Dutch painter!

I’m happy with the initial result- a small parrot tulip was accepted by the RBA for exhibition at the Mall Galleries a couple of weeks after it was painted. Below are images of large and small tulip paintings in progress; these will be available at the Surrey Art Fair and Aubergine Art Gallery.
All parrot tulips from Moyses Stevens, Pavilion Road, Chelsea.

 

Tulip by Tanja Moderscheim

Five parrot tulips by Tanja Moderscheim

Tulip by Tanja Moderscheim

 

Partnership with Otomys Gallery

I’m pleased to be working with Otomys Gallery, who will show four of my paintings at the Affordable Art Fair this March (tickets can be requested here or via email). A gallery established in Melbourne, they have just opened a gallery in Tetbury (Gloucestershire, England). If you’re in the area, be sure to visit this friendly space!
Otomys Contemporary Art Gallery United Kingdom
11 Church St, Tetbury GL8 8JG UK

Find out more about available paintings and commissions

Enjoy the first signs of spring…
Until next time,
warm regards
Tanja