Trees in contemporary art


Trees are living microcosms with interesting parallels to human beings. They draw their nourishment from the soil, and are symbols of creativity and alchemy. The Tree of Eden symbolizes life, and the reciprocity between humans and nature regarding birth, death, re-generation, and vital energy. From the early 20th century to the present, many great artists included trees among their favourite subjects, because of their symbolism, beauty, and the ease with which they can be depicted in painting and in abstract art. Oaks, chestnuts, vineyards, mulberries, maples, and maritime pines are the undisputed protagonists of the hillside, lowland, and coastal landscapes of Emilia-Romagna. They are depicted in a plethora of artistic styles, from verismo to abstract, informal, and conceptual art, but always with a naturalist vocation.

The history of the apple dates back to the earliest farming settlements, which over time turned a small, tart fruit into the sweet, large apples we know today. Long considered a magical fruit, its complex symbolism – it encompasses both good and evil – has been used by religion, philosophy, psychology, and literature. Its golden colour symbolizes health and immortality.