'Large Flowers' (One Orange, One Purple) by Andy Warhol (1964) in high resolution

The present work is one of only five monumental-scale paintings from Andy Warhol's famous Flowers series, which the artist showed at a sell-out exhibition at the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York in 1964 and with Galerie Sonnabend in Paris in May 1965. The two shows comprised of densely hung canvases of flowers in various sizes and brilliant Day-Glo hues, all appropriated by Warhol from a photograph of hibiscus blossoms that had appeared in the June 1964 issue of Popular Photography. Warhol was at the height of his creative powers and international fame, and as David Bourdon writes, the "cheerful and refreshing Flowers series includes some of Warhol's most lushly colored, decorative, and ingratiating paintings." (D. Bourdon)

The idea to paint flowers as the subject of a major series was apparently suggested to Warhol by Henry Geldzahler, then curator at the Metropolitan Museum in New York. To some degree, the pictures belong to a long art historical tradition of still-life painting. "With the Flowers, Andy was just trying a different subject matter. In a funny way, he was kind of repeating the history of art. It was like, now we're doing my Flower period! Like Monet's water lillies, Van Gogh's flowers, the genre." (Gerard Malanga).