- Henri Fantin-Latour
- Signed Fantin and dated Avril 1872 (upper left)
- Oil on canvas
- 18 1/2 by 22 1/4 in.
- 47 by 56.5 cm
Edwin Edwards, London
Sale: Amsterdam, Frederik Muller, May 6, 1919, lot 108
E.J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam
Elizabeth Henrietta Osler, Toronto (acquired from the above before 1942)
Thence by descent (and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 4, 2004, lot 1)
Acquired at the above sale
Fantin-Latour's floral still-life paintings were first exhibited in London at the Royal Academy in 1864. The paintings of the 1870s were marked by a purity and simplicity of composition, whereas the still-lifes of the 1880s were constructed with a more complex and detailed arrangement. Urged on by the example and influence of James McNeill Whistler, Fantin-Latour began experimenting in the subtlest possibilities of chromatic harmonies, thus simplifying dramatically the structure of his pictures. He abandoned his earlier, more ambitious compositions in favor of the more classically understated flower compositions, particularly appreciated by the English collectors in the 1880s.
In his review of the Salon of 1889, Émile Zola described the artist's work as follows: "The canvases of M. Fantin-Latour do not assault your eyes, they do not leap at you from the walls. They must be looked at for a length of time in order to penetrate them and their conscientiousness, their simple truth - you take these in entirely, and then you return" (Edward Lucie-Smith, Henri Fantin-Latour, New York, 1977, p. 37).