Sale: Christie's, London, June 15, 2005, lot 136, illustrated
Private Collection, Europe
This large flower painting of 1845 is an exquisite example of Petter's art and unites all of the virtues of Viennese flower painting, a hugely popular genre at this time. The Imperial family's enthusiasm for botany, as well as the city's many gardens and greenhouses contributed to a local interest in these paintings and laid a foundation for a generation of exceptional flower painters.
With its technical perfection and the botanical exactitude of the blossoms, leaves and fruit, this opulent arrangement effectively deceives. These flowers would never have bloomed at the same time as the hyacinths, camellias and auriculas are of the springtime, roses and poppies of midsummer and dahlias and geraniums generally come once these are finished — likewise the ripe fruit. Since it was traditional for Old Master flower paintings to be constructed from previous studies that the artist had made, such technicalities as the seasons did not concern them. Many of these flowers were newly fashionable, since they were introduced into European cultivation from various parts of the world: the geraniums and plumbago from South Africa, the dahlias and nicotiana from Central America and the camellias from the Far East, usually Japan.
We would like to thank Dr. Celia Fisher and Dr. Gerbert Frodl for their assistance in cataloguing this painting.
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