Tulips in Art

Text and Illustrations by Tom Chalkley

The brilliant colors and elegant shapes of tulips have attracted the attention of artists in many cultures.

Folk artists have used tulip designs to decorate clothing, furniture, and buildings.

The design at right comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition.

In the days of the “Tulip Mania” (around 1635), Dutch artists painted pictures of tulips for people who couldn’t afford the actual flowers.

After the tulip market crashed, Dutch artists often used the tulip as a symbol of foolishness, greed, and vanity.

French Impressionist Claude Monet painted a field of tulips in 1886, capturing the light of a partly cloudy day.

Fifty years after Monet, the American painter Georgia O’Keefe focused on the forms and colors inside a tulip blossom.

Text and Illustrations by Tom Chalkley
These educational pages are made possible through the generous support of T. Rowe Price.

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