Skip to Content

Stunning Free Botanical Sunflower Drawings In The Public Domain

Inside: A collection of the best vintage botanical sunflower illustrations and drawings to print for free.

It’s not surprising that sunflowers symbolize happiness. I look at a sunflower, and it makes me smile. Here I’ve curated a collection of copyright-free vintage sunflower drawings.

Sunflowers are grown all over the world, but they are a native to America. Every child in Briton must have grown a sunflower at some point in primary school.

The flowers are easy to grow and are get so impressively tall (American Sunflowers up to 4 meters). That makes them a popular plant to introduce children to the natural sciences. All three of my children have come home from primary school with a sunflower seed in a pot. They carefully watered and tendered, measuring the height of the flower every week and making sunflower drawings. All in the name of science.

Beautiful Vintage Sunflower Illustrations

There are over 70 different species of sunflower. The French call sunflowers “tournesol,” which means “turn with the sun.” Sunflowers exhibit a phenomenon known as heliotropism. The flowering heads of the plant track the sun’s movement and turn to face the sun.

Sunflower drawings and paintings have been a popular subject of many of the world’s greatest artists, such as Gauguin and Monet. Vincent Van Gogh’s series of sunflower paintings is the most famous. He did them in Arles, in southern France, between 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’.

The last time one of Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings ( Vase of Fifteen Sunflowers) sold at an auction in 1987, it sold for over $39 million at Christie’s in London. At the time, this was the most expensive painting ever sold.

12 vintage sunflower drawings to download

The downloaded sunflower drawings will be of a higher resolution than the picture. Just click on the title above to download the sunflower illustration you want.

The Sunflower Drawings

1. Sunflower Drawings – Johannes Teyler

A gorgeous sunflower by the Dutch artist Johannes Teyler. He was a Dutch Golden Age painter, engraver, mathematics teacher, and inventor of the colour print. This sunflower was painted in the late 17th century, sometime between 1698-1699.

The original painting of this sunflower is in the world-famous Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Sunflower drawings

2. Sunflower Drawing (no.2) – Johannes Teyler

Another one of Johannes Teyler’s beautiful sunflower drawings at the
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Johannes Teyler sunflower drawings

3. Sunflower – Hans-Simon Holtzbecker

A sunflower illustration from the 17th Century by Hans-Simon Holtzbecker. Holtzbecker was known for his flower paintings, he created on behalf of Duke Friedrich III  for the seminal Gottorfer Codex. A four-volume plant atlas.

Sunflower Hans-Simon Holtzbecker

4. Large Sunflower Drawings – “Hortus Eystettensis”

The Hortus Eystettensis is a codex produced by Basilius Besler in 1613 of the garden of the bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria. There are two versions of this large sunflower drawing: this colourful one and another below in black and white.

Large sunflower illustration

5. Large Black & White Sunflower Drawing

The same sunflower illustration as the one above, but this time a black and white version.

Black and white drawing of a sunflower head

6. Botanical Sunflower Illustration – 1887

A botanical illustration of the sunflower from the book “American medicinal plants; an illustrated and descriptive guide to the American plants used as homeopathic remedies: their history, preparation, chemistry and physiological effects. By Charles F. Millspaugh” (1887)

If you are wondering about the medicinal properties of sunflowers, “a tea made from the leaves is astringent, diuretic and expectorant, it is used in the treatment of high fevers. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice on sores, swellings, snakebites and spider bites. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of malaria and lung ailments. The seed is also considered to be diuretic and expectorant. “

Botanical sunflower illustration

7. Detailed Biology of Sunflower Illustration 1789

A detailed natural history illustration of a dissected sunflower. These sunflower drawings are from a book showing the sexual system of plants, “
Illustration Systematis Sexualis Linnaei” John Miller 1789.

Dissected sunflower

8. Sunflower painting – 1682

Painted by Alexander Marshal, an English entomologist, gardener and botanical artist. Alexander painted flowers and plants for the pleasure it gave to him and his horticulturist friends.

I assume the dog is in this sunflower drawing to get a perspective of scale.

sunflower and dog

9. Silver-leaved Sunflower Illustration – 1897

A silver-leaved sunflower drawing from “Favourite flowers of garden and greenhouse” by Edward Step.

Silver leaved sunflower

10. Purpledisc Sunflower -1826

The purple disc sunflower is native to North America. One plant can produce 1-15 flower heads, each with 10-15 yellow ray florets surrounding 75 or more red or purple disc florets. 

This sunflower illustration is from Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 1826.

purpledisc sunflower

11. California Sunflower

A species of sunflower native to California and Baja California. This sunflower illustration is from the French book “Flore des serres et des jardins de l’Europe” 1845, (Flora of greenhouses and gardens of Europe).

California Sunflower

12. Helianthus multiflorus – Sunflower

This is a cultivated ornamental sunflower. The painting is from William Curtis’s, The Botanical Magazine 1794.

Sunflower drawings

13. Beautiful Sunflower Sketch

This illustration of a big sunflower is from Charlotte Yonge’s vintage fruit and vegetable prints.

Charlotte Yonge's beautiful sunflower sketch

Other impressively large flowers are the giant water lily, and chrysanthemums.

If you enjoyed this collection of sunflower drawings don’t forget to check out these other flora collections.


Sunday 31st of December 2023

you are a may for sharing all of these! thank you so much!


Monday 1st of January 2024

Thank you, I just love vintage images and sharing them with other people that love them too!


Saturday 28th of October 2023

Who do I email concerning the copyright licenses

Kindly assist me


Saturday 28th of October 2023

They are all in the Public Domain.


Wednesday 6th of September 2023

Can these drawings be used In commercial projects? I.e As not NOTEBOOK covers for sale


Friday 8th of September 2023

Yes they are in the public domain so copyright free.


Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

Sunflower drawings and paintings have been a popular subject of many of the worlds greatest artists, such as Gauguin and Monet. The most famous of which is Vincent Van Gogh’s series of sunflower paintings. He did them in Arles, in the south of France, between 1888 and 1889. Vincent painted large canvases with sunflowers in a vase, with three shades of yellow ‘and nothing else’.


Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Thank you, for that interesting tid bit. I do love Van Gogh's sunflowers.

41 affiches murales pour rafraîchir sa déco – Mauriane Intérieur

Tuesday 20th of April 2021

[…] 5 et 6. Illustrations botaniques tournesol du livre “les plantes médicinales américaines;&nbsp… […]