- Pierre-Auguste Renoir
- Vase de roses et dahlias
- Signed Renoir. (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
Jean Levy (sold: Sotheby Parke-Bernet, New York, May 17, 1978, lot 42)
Nathalie P. & Alan M. Voorhees (acquired at the above sale)
Gifted from the above in 1994
It is not surprising that a floral still-life, especially one as lush and abundant as the present work, would have appealed to Renoir. He had started his career painting flowers on porcelain for the Sèvres workshop, and his progression with the subject evolved into rich depictions of floral arrangements on canvas by the late 1860s. As was noted at the time of a retrospective exhibition in 1888, ‘For an artist enamoured with color, flowers provide a perfect subject – infinitely varied, malleable to any arrangement. Several of Renoir's most beautiful paintings [...] are flower pieces. Renoir painted many pictures of flowers in addition to the more numerous figures and landscapes. Flowers appear frequently in his paintings as hat decorations or as part of the landscape behind figures even when they are not the main motif. Renoir himself said that when painting flowers he was able to paint more freely and boldly, without the mental effort he made with a model before him. Also, he found the painting of flowers to be helpful in painting human figures’ (Renoir Retrospective (exhibition catalogue), Nagoya City Art Museum, 1988, p. 247).