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Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

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Gustave Caillebotte
1848 - 1894
NATURE MORTE AU VASE DE LILAS
Signed and dated G Caillebotte 1883 (upper right)
Oil on canvas
29 by 23 3/4 in.
73.6 by 60.3 cm
Painted in 1883.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Gustave Caillebotte.

Provenance

Eugène Lamy, Paris
Mme Drouilly, Paris
Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 16, 1956, lot 72
Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., London (1957)
Private Collection, New York (1969)
Private Collection (acquired by descent from the above and sold: Christie's, New York, November 8, 2000, lot 2)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

London, Arthur Tooth & Sons, Ltd., Corot to Picasso, 1957, no. 29

Literature

Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte, sa vie et son oeuvre, catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1978, no. 240, illustrated p. 162
Marie Berhaut, Caillebotte, sa vie et son oeuvre, catalogue raisonné des peintures et pastels, Paris, 1994, no. 254, illustrated p. 169

Catalogue Note

Although horticultural subjects dominated his art during the later part of his career, Caillebotte only began to paint still-lifes of flower arrangements in 1881.  Turning his attention away in 1880 from depictions of the Parisian landscape, Caillebotte began to spend a significant amount of time considering the lush environs of his newly renovated country home in Petit Gennevilliers.  Throughout the 1880s and up until his death in 1894, his artistic concentration was focused on gardens and floral motifs, which were no doubt inspired by his surroundings.   Caillebotte's genuine love for flowers resulted in a series of rich compositions that, according to the contemporary critic Gustave Geffroy, “colored and perfumed the atmosphere.” 

In this picture, Caillebotte conveys the sensuality of his subject by creating sharp textural contrasts throughout the composition.  He renders the fullness of each petal with rich white impasto,  whereas he conveys the smoothness of the porcelain vase by using more flattened and modulated brushstrokes.  Blue tones used for shadows and for reflections add dimension to both the varnished table and the vase and enhance the solidity of these objects.  Scattered to the left are some stray clippings of the bouquet and a bud vase that has yet to be filled.  From these visual cues, we are reminded of the freshness of this newly assembled floral arrangement.   

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening

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