Roses in art history

The rose in art – this is an inexhaustible subject! Here (first of all) only some introductory remarks.

The geometry of the rose served as a model for the pentagram and the window rosettes of old churches, stylized roses adorn some city coats of arms and visual artists from all over the world choose the rose as their motif. Pictures, sculptures, photographs, sculptures, objects and video installations symbolize the many facets of the “Queen of Flowers” since antiquity.

All images from

The oldest secure representation of the rose is a fresco in the palace of Knossos in Crete. Since the rose became a symbolic Christian plant, it has been taken into account in the design of churches.

Be it as a carving on confessionals, as an expression of secrecy and silence, or as a rose window in Gothic cathedrals. 1474 Martin Schongauer’s famous painting Maria im Rosenhang is created.

Towards the end of the 16th century roses can be found in Dutch and Flemish paintings. The “rose painter” par excellence was Pierre-Joseph Redoute.

  • The rose as an artistic motif can be found on porcelain, fabrics, wallpaper and many everyday objects.
  • And the rose can also be found in urban art, see adjacent sculpture, photographed in Duderstadt.
  • The National Gallery of Art has also a lot of paintings.

Meissen porcelain photographed in the Meissen Museum. The Meissen Rose, the classic decoration on Meissen porcelain, was introduced around 1800 and was very popular especially in the Biedermeier period. And even today artists love roses and depict them on their works.