Art, Magnolia and Flowering Plum Trees

February 15, 2012

A recent day trip to de Young Fine Arts Museum in San Francisco not only gave me an opportunity to look upon exclusive paintings by Venice artists from the 1400 and 1500s, but also splashes of spring blooms gracing the de Young courtyard and city sidewalks.

I wish I could share some photos of the collection by Titian, Giorgione, Veronese, Tintoretto, Mantegna and more, but the museum did not allow cameras with this showing, which ended last Sunday. I can tell you that it was an awesome feeling to stand before the works of artists from the Renaissance-era, paintings 500-plus-years-old.

As if the renaissance collection of Venice wasn’t enough, this beautiful oil on canvas, Tulip Culture, 1889, by George Hitchcock (1850-1913) made my day. (The museum permitted cameras in this area of the gallery and my artist and master gardener friend, Em Rojas, took this photograph.) I would love to be the woman in this painting!

Leaving de Young Museum, what a treat it was to walk through the courtyard with budding Magnolia (Magnoliaceae) trees and along the sidewalk under the flowering plum blossoms—a perfect ending to a fun day in the city with renaissance artists, a splash of spring, and great company.

FYI:  San Francisco Botanical Garden’s rare and historic magnolia collection is now blooming! A much-anticipated, not-to-be-missed event, the show goes on from mid-February to mid-March, though some start blooming in late December and last into May.–S.F. Botanical Garden



  1. Magnificent! What a wonderful outing. Kind of brings back some memories for me. My great-uncle was curator of the DeYoung Museum during the early 1900’s. He and his family lived in a cottage on the property. My mother used to spend time with her cousins there, and they made “at least the grounds” their play area. She said after Sunday afternoon concerts – as young children she and her cousins ‘raided the garbage cans’ for half-eaten sandwiches, and my mother also played a “california poppy” in a boat parade held on one of the lakes in the park. She remembered ‘fun’ times with her cousins in and around the gardens of DeYoung Museum in San Francisco. Thanks for bringing back some nice memories Dianne.


  2. now i wanna go!


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