Saturday, 8 January 2011

Stanley Bielen: Beyond Manet's Last Flowers

Stanley Bielen
(1957- )
American floral & still life painter

In gallery résumé’s Bielens’ flower paintings and still life are often compared with Manet’s last flower paintings. I just stumbled upon his art but was immediately and deeply in love with these colorful gems.

Bielen was born in Poland (1957) and trained in Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. The fact that he is a teacher/instructor now in Philadelphia and the places/museums where his pictures are collected sums up most of the information available. And the prices he won of course.
As Manet’s bouquets still are recognizable impressions of reality Bielen’s renderings are more abstracted. You just have to pinch your eyes a little more to see the flowers and vases emerging from the background in front of you.
Deceivingly simple as the pictures seem you’ll have to have a thorough knowledge of light and color (and paint !) to take flower still life painting beyond Manet’s final renderings. And talent of course. And an almost schizophrenic brain to transform vases and flowers in these compositions of splashes of paint and color and still create such recognizable forms and bouquets. For those interested: Googling Stanley Bielen will easily show more pictures and maybe (some) more biographic facts. The teacher I am the purpose of my posting is just to make you curious enough. I found some 40 different and choosing 9 from them is totally impossible because they are all incredibly beautiful. But I will gladly do a follow up on request.

These last two paintings might explain why Bielen (left) is compared to Manet (right) I think.

The comparison with Manet’s flowers is probably more appropriate to a pupil/colleague of Bielen in the Philadelphia School. Nancy Tips of whom I will show paintings in my next posting. (I think she is secretly Manet’s great-granddaughter).


  1. Incredible paintings! Thanks for writing this, I knew nothing about Stanley Bielen.

  2. Thank you Marissa, for commenting. I am glad I was able to surprise and astound you too. I think his paintings are capable of and as moving as some great music. Very warm, still and introvert.

  3. Gerrie,

    Bielen was new to me, too. These are beautiful still-life paintings, especially the ones where the flowers semm to glow out of a dark background. I even consider buying one (after robbing a bank).

    best wishes,


  4. Beautiful! Thank you! But,... must we compare?

    1. We mustn't. Thanks for stopping by Fran.