- France, 1883
- Oil on canvas
- Inv. 2343
- Signed and dated on the upper right: Fantin 83
In the mid-1870s, Henri Fantin-Latour began to move progressively away from painting complexly structured still-lifes in the Dutch style to devote himself increasingly to representing flowers without the help of any great ornamental artifices. This work, in which only a few roses can be seen inside a small vase, stands out as an excellent example of his output from this period.
The flowers display the same material lightness and freshness that can be seen in other works by the artist dating from the same period, such as Still Life (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lyon), 1889. This aspect of Fantin-Latour’s art, which involves a persistent exploration of variations on the rose as a key representational element at a particular time, is also heavily reflected in the literature of the same period, in which references to the symbolic flower as an ‘emblem of good’ appear in various lines of thought associated with the second half of the 19th century.
E. Laffon Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian through André Weil, Paris, 11 March 1939.
H. 54 cm; W. 41 cm
The Nature of Still Life, exhibition catalogue. Bologna: Galleria d’Arte Moderna, 2001, pp. 28, 52, 246, no. 2.
Luísa Sampaio, Painting in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon/Milan: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum/Skira, 2009, pp. 213–14, cat. 95.