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Flowers have been a subject matter in art for a very long time, and some flowers are now recognised as trademarks of particular artists Monet is famous for his water lilies, Georgia O'Keefe is best known for her sensuous calla lilies and Vincent van Gogh is associated with his portraits of sunflowers.
German artist Marthe's choice of flowers are red poppies, which symbolize both sleep and death sleep because of the opiates extracted from them and death due to the blood-red colour of most poppies.
Working with the delicate medium of watercolour which contrasts with the darkness of the symbolism of poppies, Marthes paintings appear in a very modern fashion. Graphically set against a stark white background, the poppies appear flat like pressed flowers while the reds bleeds out into ombre shades of pink around the petals. Although she is most famous for her depictions of poppies, Marthe also paints contemporary images of purple irises and yellow tulips, in which the same bleeding technique is employed.
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