We have a vibrant collection of sunflower illustrations from Art Nouveau decorations, paintings, and botanical drawings that we’ve transformed into delightful postcards, greeting cards, and art prints!
See our entire Sunflowers Collection!
As the season blooms, we can't help but celebrate the star of summer—the sunflower! At Laughing Elephant, our passion for both real and illustrated flowers has led us to curate a delightful collection that captures the essence of summer, where the charm of sun-kissed petals meets the artistic allure of botanical illustrations.
Etude de la Plante, Son application aux industries d’art (Study of the plant and its applications to the Design Industry) by M.P. Verneuil is a remarkable book printed in 1903 for the Librarie Centrale des Beaux Arts, Paris. Within its pages lie magnificent decorative studies of plants, offering a wealth of inspiration for fabric, jewelry, ironwork, pottery, and more. Printed with exquisite pochoir colored illustrations using letterpress, the book is simply beautiful. We've selected other stunning images from this treasure trove for our Art Nouveau in Bloom Art Print Portfolio and Art Nouveau in Bloom Boxed Greeting Cards sets, showcasing truly exquisite Art Nouveau design.
Sunflower Plant Study – Fig 325 from "Etude de la Plante, Son application aux industries d’art" by M.P. Verneuil
See our entire Sunflowers Collection!
Equally as beautiful, but more scientific, are the botanical illustrations found in the famous botanical picture books, Hortus Eystettensis (Garden of Eichstätt), by German apothecary and botanist Basilius Besler, published in 1613. This remarkable book showcases exquisitely illustrated flowers from the gardens of prince-bishop Johann Konrad von Gemmingen near  Eichstätt, Bavaria. The Renaissance-style garden was Germany's first botanical garden and the sole one outside of Italy at the time! In this botanical haven, the bishop curated a diverse array of plants from around the world, believed to encompass every known shrub and flowering plant known to horticulturalists of that era. The book "florilegium," derived from Latin meaning "a gathering of flowers," and its aesthetic approach marked the first of its kind, making "Hortus Eystettensis" a masterpiece that continues to captivate both art and botanical enthusiasts alike. 
Historic botanical illustrations are where scientific precision and artistic beauty blend seamlessly. And this one, drawn in the early 1600s, is one of the oldest illustrations in our archive!
See our entire Sunflowers Collection!
As we've shared before, we have a deep affection for vintage growers' catalogs! These historical gems are a treasure trove of horticultural and agricultural history, offering intricate drawings and lithographs alongside detailed descriptions of plants from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Originally published by seed and plant companies, these catalogs served as essential marketing tools, often sent out to customers via mail. Beyond their historical significance, we can't help but be captivated by the beautiful illustrations they feature, inspiring our own designs for cards, postcards, and art prints.We have a collection of these catalogs in our archives and often use them as inspiration for our own designs!
A summery assortment of summer flowers including gloxinias, hibiscuses, calla lilies, chrysanthemums, and pansies from a 19th-century Mayflower Premium catalog!
See this image in a Vintage Flowers Art Print set!
Fall in love this summer with Erté—we call this captivating Art Deco illustration Summer Rose! Erté, whose real name was Romain de Tirtoff, was a prominent figure in the Art Deco movement, known for his elegant and glamorous designs that epitomized the Roaring Twenties. Born in Russia in 1892, Erté's artistic talents flourished at an early age, and he went on to become a celebrated fashion designer, illustrator, and costume designer. His career took him to Paris, where he collaborated with renowned fashion houses and theater productions, leaving a lasting impact on the world of fashion and art. A summer fling with his artistry could lead to a lifelong relationship!
Summer Rose showcases Erté’s distinctive style, characterized by intricate details, flowing lines, and a harmonious fusion of geometric and organic elements.
See our entire Erté Collection here!
We're not sure about where you live, but in Laughing Elephant's hometown of Seattle, Washington, roses bloom through the summer and into the early fall! It's no surprise they hold a special place in our hearts and we’ve written about our love of roses before. The rose, an eternal symbol of love and elegance, reigns as the most cherished flower globally, boasting over 150 species and an abundance of delightful cultivars. Definitely make time to stop and smell the roses this summer!
George Cochran Lambdin (1830–1896) was an American Victorian artist. He concentrated on painting flowers, especially roses, for the last 25 years of his life. Many of these paintings were copied as chromolithographs and mass-produced.
See our entire Roses Collection!
Lastly, as we prepare for the back-to-school season, let's not forget to carry the essence of summer flowers with us into the new academic year! One delightful way to do this is by choosing school supplies adorned with beautiful floral designs. Our Floral Journal Notebooks will allow you to capture the essence of summer and bring a touch of nature to your everyday school adventures.
Lovely flowers to inspire lovely thoughts and ideas!
See all our Floral Journal Notebooks!
Sunflowers, along with their summer flower companions, symbolize positivity, happiness, and optimism, radiating the warmth of the sun and the spirit of joy. As the season blooms with vibrant colors and fragrances, we wish our customers a summer filled with the same uplifting energy!
Carl sure knows how to appreciate flowers on a sunny day, especially sunflowers!
See our entire Good Dog Carl Collection! 

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