Carnations in Art: Famous Depictions

Flowers carnations have been celebrated and immortalized in art for centuries, gracing the canvases of renowned artists and capturing the imagination of viewers with their beauty and symbolism. From still life paintings to portraits and decorative motifs, carnations have left an indelible mark on the world of art. Let’s explore some famous depictions of carnations in art:

1. “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” by John Singer Sargent

One of the most famous paintings featuring carnations is “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” by American artist John Singer Sargent. Completed in 1886, this iconic work depicts two young girls lighting Chinese lanterns in a garden illuminated by lantern light. The painting is renowned for its luminous colors and evocative atmosphere, with carnations prominently featured in the foreground.

2. “Basket of Carnations” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir is known for his vibrant and colorful depictions of everyday life. In “Basket of Carnations,” painted around 1882, Renoir captures a lush bouquet of carnations overflowing from a wicker basket. The painting exudes warmth and vitality, with the carnations radiating with vibrant hues against a neutral background.

3. “Vase with Pink Carnations” by Vincent van Gogh

Vincent van Gogh, the Dutch Post-Impressionist master, created several artworks featuring carnations during his prolific career. “Vase with Pink Carnations,” painted in 1886, showcases van Gogh’s bold and expressive brushwork, capturing the texture and movement of the flowers with dynamic energy. The pink carnations pop against a contrasting blue background, creating a striking visual contrast.

4. “Carnation, Lily, Rose” by Charles Edward Perugini

Another notable painting titled “Carnation, Lily, Rose” was created by English artist Charles Edward Perugini in the late 19th century. This enchanting artwork features two young girls standing in a garden adorned with carnations, lilies, and roses, illuminated by the soft glow of Chinese lanterns. Perugini’s painting evokes a sense of innocence and wonder, with the carnations symbolizing beauty and purity.

5. “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” by Mary Cassatt

American Impressionist painter Mary Cassatt also painted a work titled “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose,” inspired by Sargent’s masterpiece. Cassatt’s version, created in 1885-1886, depicts two young girls surrounded by lush foliage and illuminated by lantern light, with carnations and lilies dotting the garden landscape. Cassatt’s painting captures the ethereal beauty of childhood and the fleeting moments of innocence.

6. “Vase with Pink Carnations on a Yellow Background” by Odilon Redon

French Symbolist artist Odilon Redon explored themes of imagination and mysticism in his paintings, often incorporating floral motifs into his works. In “Vase with Pink Carnations on a Yellow Background,” created around 1910, Redon presents a dreamlike composition featuring a vase filled with pink carnations against a vibrant yellow backdrop. The painting exudes a sense of otherworldly beauty and tranquility.

7. “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” by Thomas Cooper Gotch

English Pre-Raphaelite painter Thomas Cooper Gotch painted his own interpretation of “Carnation, Lily, Lily, Rose” in 1885. Gotch’s version features two young girls surrounded by a garden filled with carnations, lilies, and roses, bathed in the soft glow of lantern light. Gotch infuses the scene with a sense of enchantment and nostalgia, capturing the timeless beauty of childhood innocence.


Carnations have been immortalized in art through the centuries, inspiring some of the most iconic and beloved paintings in art history. From the luminous gardens of Sargent and Cassatt to the vibrant bouquets of Renoir and van Gogh, carnations continue to captivate artists and viewers alike with their timeless beauty and symbolism. These famous depictions serve as a testament to the enduring allure of carnations in the world of art.

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