Sketch of the Week: Lily

One of my recent kitchen bouquets included a lily, a highly-charged flower in our cultural connotations. Aside from its symbolic connotations with purity, and more specifically the Virgin Mary, the calla lily in particular has also appeared in the work of Diego Rivera, numerous photographers, and so forth. It's a flower renowned for its sculptural simplicity, and even the phrase, "gild the lily" (thanks Shakespeare!) uses the flower to suggest the dangers of enhancing perfection to the point of gaudiness.

For this sketch, I drew the same lily from three different angles, not unlike what Anthony van Dyck did in his sketch of Charles I, to be used as a reference for the sculptor Bernini in a portrait bust. Personally I think a combination of these could make for a nice silverpoint drawing.


  1. The irises of Van Gogh, the calla lilies of O'Keefe, the lily pads of Monet,or the cucumbers of Arcimboldo. Beautiful nature.


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