A Leaf on William Morris | Adéle du Plessis | Flower Painting

A Leaf on William Morris | Adéle du Plessis | Collage and Tempera

  • Contemporary artist: Adéle du Plessis
  • Title Artwork: A Leaf on William Morris
  • Year: 2020
  • Technique: Tempera on Board, Mixed Media, Resin
  • Style: Botanical Painting, Still life Painting
  • Size: 30cm x 30cm x 3cm 
  • 250

A Leaf on William Morris | Adéle du Plessis | Flower Painting

Technically this experimental artwork by Adéle du Plessis does not have a name. Art Historian, Tascha Sciarone has named it "Sketch and a Leaf", just to give it a name. Adéle fluctuates between hating it and not caring. However a French art collector in Germany last year commented that "Éphémère Beauté" would suite it. Tascha who is not a native French speaker did not how to write this word or what it meant. However, someone reached out recently asking after "Éphémère Beauté"  and we could not place it at the gallery. Finally honing into that it is a work by Adéle du Plessis presented here above.


However you wish to name it, the piece is a captivating and experimental exploration of the intersection between nature, history, and preservation. This small yet intricate painting, measuring 30cm by 30cm, invites viewers into a world that seamlessly combines elements of classic aesthetics with contemporary artistic techniques.


Adéle has always been inspired by the timeless works of William Morris and the principles of the Arts and Crafts movemen from the early twentieth century. Adéle du Plessis created a still-life composition that celebrates the inherent beauty of nature. The delicate branches, adorned with exquisitely detailed flowers, pay homage to Morris's reverence for botanical motifs, evoking a sense of nostalgia for a bygone era when craftsmanship and nature held sway over design.


What sets "Éphémère Beauté" apart is Adéle's bold experimentation with the medium itself. Employing the ancient technique of egg tempera, she crafts the foundational layer of her artwork on a wood panel, adhering to the tradition of meticulous craftsmanship. The flowers and branches, painted with meticulous precision, reveal the artist's mastery of this labor-intensive technique.


Yet, the true innovation lies in the layer added atop this botanical tableau—a beautifully browned leaf, suspended as if frozen in time. This leaf serves as both the muse and the focal point of Adéle's composition, representing the transient nature of existence and the delicate balance between preservation and decay. As this is also the leaf from the same tree that inspired two other artworks from her Drawn at Home series. The leaf's position at the center of the artwork invites viewers to contemplate the interplay between life's fleeting moments and its eternal beauty.


To further enhance the piece's unique concept, Adéle du Plessis encases the entire composition, both the painted wood panel and the leaf, in a glossy resin. This preservation technique not only solidifies the delicate beauty of the still life but also adds an intriguing layer of depth and texture to the artwork. The resin imparts a sense of permanence to the transitory leaf, creating a visually captivating juxtaposition that challenges our perceptions of time and beauty.


"Éphémère Beauté" is a remarkable fusion of tradition and innovation, paying homage to the enduring influence of William Morris while pushing the boundaries of artistic expression. Adéle du Plessis's experimental approach invites viewers to contemplate the fragile beauty of life and the power of art to capture and preserve fleeting moments. This exquisite piece is destined to enthrall our French art collectors with its masterful technique and thought-provoking narrative. It is also priced differently to her other artwork in order reflect the experimental nature of this artwork.

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