Inspiring Colour Schemes: Painting the Modern Garden

Exhibition at the Royal Academy

Royal Academy Exhibition Painting the Modern Garden

Painting and gardening are two of my favourite things - so you can imagine how excited I was to see the 'Painting the Modern Garden' exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Just imagining what those actual gardens are like through the paintings was inspiring, let alone the paintings themselves along with beautiful books of illustrated flowers. The roll-call of artists on display reads like a who's who list of late 19th / early 20th century artists. It's mostly Claude Monet that's featured, but other big star names include VIncent Van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Klimt, Klee, Matisse, Kandinsky, Nolde and Rusinol. For many of the artists featured, gardens were seen as outdoor studios.

The paintings make you want to go visit those gardens - and have one just like them yourself. Monet's garden at Giverny is said to have influenced and inspired hundreds of gardens around the world. He chose a wide variety of plants so that it would provide limitless amounts of colour combinations and textures, and it's this for me that makes his paintings so beautiful as well as providing a source of inspiration for so many colour schemes. What I really like is that in effect, you have ready-made colour palettes for your home interiors as well as your garden.

These artists created incredible tones and depths of colour in layers. Colours that you wouldn't necessarily think to put together and capture fleeting moments - the way the light hits at a certain time of day. 

Some of my highlights are Claude Monet's 'In The Garden', and 'The Artist's Garden at Giverny', Santiago Rusinol's Glorieta VII Aranjuez (this was a 'wow' painting for me - so incredibly striking' and Johan Fredrik Krouhen's 'View of a Garden, Linkoping'. 

Whether you're a fan of these artists or not, this is definitely an unmissable exhibition, just for the colours alone.

Royal Academy, until April 20th.