The National Gallery in London is in the midst of celebrating the iconic Dutch flower paintings of the early 17th and late 18th century. To accompany this beautiful occasion, the Flower Council of Holland created a contemporary work of living art—a massive floral still life that’s constructed entirely out of 26,500 real blooms.
The installation is located just outside of the art museum in London’s famous Trafalgar Square. It’s called A Still Life of Flowers in a Wan-Li Vase and pays tribute to Dutch artist Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder’s masterpiece of the same name.
To recreate the painting, nearly 30 florists worked for two days straight. They began with a huge digital print to act as their guide during the labor-intensive process, which included 100 blocks of florist foam and 26 different types of flowers: six varieties of tulips; four types of peonies; three species of carnations; six types of freesias; six varieties of calla lily; and four types of roses. To keep the flowers looking fresh, the piece has a built-in water irrigation system.
Check out how the entire thing came together in the video, below.
Here’s the original painting the installation is based on:
And here’s the Flower Council’s living recreation in all its glory: