Hemp in the artistic field: a combination with ancient roots

Hemp in art | SensorySeeds

Published on: 20/01/2023

The return of hemp as a raw material in the field of art

Hemp is a very versatile plant that has been used for millennia in different sectors, from food to textiles.

Over the centuries, this plant has also become popular as a raw material used in the artistic field.

In this article we will deal with this, we will explore how hemp has been used in the artistic field, from painting to sculpture, and we will also see how it has returned to vogue in recent times.

Read also: Legalization of cannabis: the Government of Malta has decided to proceed

Did you know that there is a historical link between hemp and art?

The use of cannabis in art has been documented since ancient times, with references to paintings made with hemp oil paints or paintings made of hemp fabric.

Many artists have used hemp to create their works of art. For example, painter Vincent van Gogh used hemp canvases to make some of his most famous paintings, such as “The Potato Eaters”; painter Paul Gauguin also used canvases of this material, for example, to paint “The Yellow Christ”.

The list of painters who have made use of hemp fiber to make their works is very long and includes artists such as Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Picasso.

Picasso used hemp canvases | SensorySeeds

Additionally, hemp has also been used by contemporary artists such as Vincent Castiglia, who used his own blood to paint on hemp canvas.

Why did so many artists use (and still use) hemp to create their works?

In ancient times, even before being used in the artistic field, hemp was used to produce fabrics for clothes, ropes and canvases, given that a resistant and long-lasting fiber is produced from this plant.

For the same reason, hemp has always been used in the artistic field. Hemp-based pigments manufactured for painting pictures and frescoes were very popular in antiquity because they were easy to produce and lasted a long time.

Thanks to the use of colours created using this plant, as well as thanks to the hemp canvases, in fact, the work could more easily be preserved over time, also counteracting any deterioration caused by the impact of light on the painting.

For this reason, Michelangelo used hemp oil colours to create one of the frescoes best known to the general public, namely “The Last Judgement” which is located in the Sistine Chapel.

Read also: Cannabis-like plants: a guide to marijuana’s ‘cousins’

The most recent uses of hemp in the art world

Even today hemp is used as a raw material in the artistic field. For example, Anthony Medina, a young American entrepreneur, recently opened an art gallery exclusively dedicated to exhibiting works on canvas.

One of its most widespread and most recent applications in the field of art is the use of hemp fiber to create carpets and furnishing fabrics. Furthermore, hemp is now increasingly used for the creation of wall decorations, frescoes and wallpapers.

Wall decoration with hemp fabric | SensorySeeds

Finally, some artists have also used hemp as a raw material to create installations and sculptures that integrate with the environment.

Hemp as a source of inspiration for the creation of works of art

Before closing this article, it may be useful to recall how hemp has been used in different ways in art, not only as a raw material for the creation of works of art, but also as a theme for the works themselves.

In particular, hemp has been a source of inspiration in various artistic works, from paintings to sculptures, passing through literary works. Many artists have praised it for its ability to stimulate creativity and imagination.

Hemp and art: in conclusion

Hemp has been used for centuries in art and still continues to be used by many artists today due to the resistance that the fibers derived from this plant can ensure: hemp fibers are able to withstand prolonged exposure to sources of heat or light and, therefore, the artistic works created using this plant can also last a very long time.

Nonetheless, in recent decades, hemp has become the subject of controversy due to its illegality in many countries.

However, in recent years there has been a growing interest in the use of cannabis in industry and this has led to a greater openness towards its use. Just think of the law 242 of 2 December 2016 which promoted the birth and rapid diffusion of the agro-industrial chain of hemp in Italy.

Before saying goodbye, I invite you to visit the Sensory Seeds shop where you will find a careful selection of cannabis seeds online, being able to choose between feminized, auto flowering and fast flowering seeds.