The present still-life is dateable to the mid-1950s when Redpath painted many of her most accomplished and beautiful pictures. It is comparable with Autumn Bouquet
(Sotheby's, Gleneagles, 1 September 2004, lot 889), which was exhibited at the Society of Scottish Artists in 1956, and A Bouquet
(Sotheby’s, Edinburgh, 26 April 2007, lot 127). Still-life painting was particularly important to Redpath in the 1950s and almost half of her exhibits at this time were images of flowers in pots, vases and jugs or potted plants on table-tops with various objects d'art from her own collection. These pictures were painted in the studio she had moved into in 1952 following the breakdown of her marriage when she began to enjoy a more independent domestic environment. Anne decided to make a new start and moved from Mayfield Gardens in Edinburgh to a first floor flat on London Street which gave her more room to paint and entertain. She remained at London Street for the rest of her life and it was here that her celebrated gatherings and Sunday afternoon tea parties were held. Anne was remembered by all those who met her as a kind and generous woman, who welcomed the company of men and women of all backgrounds and ages. Among those who enjoyed her hospitality at this time were the MacTaggarts, David McClure, Bernard Leach and Robin Philipson. Her hospitality was described by someone who knew her at this time, in a letter written to her son many years later, as '... not just a painter, but as someone infinitely kind and humorous, and an hilarious raconteur. For a time lived almost opposite her in London Street, when my first husband and I parted company... She was marvellous to me - lent me paintings to hang on my horrid walls... and frequently, she had a casserole or something that she 'couldn't possibly eat all of', and generally kept us going: even occasionally found she had an extra theatre ticket and so on and so on. I really loved her. I never, ever heard her complain about anything or be nasty about anyone.'
(Patrick Bourne, Anne Redpath 1895-1965, Her Life and Work
, 1989, p.53)
Writing in 1965, Terence Mullaly noted in Redpath's work, that 'pinks and greys, mauve and lilacs are colours which she commands. Equally remarkable is Anne Redpath's use of white. I have now for several years lived with a large still-life by her which is in effect a study in white. It is a picture of beauty; handled with boldness, indeed bravura. It combines to a degree today rare decisive use of paint, an uninhibited delight in its qualities, and a respect for the thing seen.' (Terence Mullaly, Anne Redpath Memorial Exhibition catalogue, The Arts Council of Great Britain Scottish Committee, 1965, p.3) The qualities described by Mullaly are very much here as well as the subtle beauty which make Redpath's still-lifes so compelling. Her use of white also recalls the work of Christopher Wood for whom Redpath had a lifelong admiration. She described her philosophy herself: 'Young women often come up to me and say; "I am going to be like you and give up everything for painting", but that's not how I see it at all. I could never have sacrificed my family to painting, and I don't think anyone else should either... I put everything I had into house and furniture and dresses and good food and people. All that's the same sort of thing as painting really, and the experience went back into art when I began painting again.' (ibid Mullaly, p. 7)