The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Gustave Caillebotte.
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.
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