Lot 318
  • 318

Henri Fantin-Latour

200,000 - 300,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Henri Fantin-Latour
  • Renoncules et narcisses
  • Signed Fantin. and dated 80 (upper right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 14 by 12 1/2 in.
  • 35.6 by 31.7 cm


Mrs. Edwards, London
Albert Dubosc &Sons, Sainte-Adresse (acquired by 1936)
Lady Baillie, London
Arthur Tooth & Sons, London
Lady Baillie, Kent (until 1974 then sold by order of the Leeds Csatle Foundation: Sotheby's, London, June 27, 1977, lot 18)
Richard Green Fine Paintings, London
Private Collection, Philadelphia (acquired from the above in 1978)


Grenoble, Musée Bibliothèque de Grenoble, Centaire de Henri Fantin-Latour, no. 139


Madame Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l'oeuvre complet de Fantin-Latour 1849-1904, Paris, 1911, no. 991, p. 103

Catalogue Note

Ranunculus et narcissus exhibits exceptional crispness of detail and startling realism—two iconic elements that distinguish Fantin-Latour’s oeuvre. The artist’s images of flowers, fruit, crystal and porcelain number among the great examples of trompe l'oeil painting of the late nineteenth century. These expertly crafted still-lifes, which he obsessively painted in the three decades preceding his death in 1904, were already highly coveted by collectors throughout Europe during the artist’s lifetime. The popularity of the artist's output was due in part to the committed promotion and patronage of Mr. and Mrs. Edwin Edwards. Throughout the 1870s, the Edwards commissioned several pictures of floral arrangements from the artist, many of which depict lush bouquets of mixed flowers.

Fantin-Latour’s extraordinary eye for detail was developed during his early years as a portrait painter. Such training has allowed the artist to scrutinize each flower with remarkable specificity. According to Edward Lucie-Smith, "His belief, academic in origin, that technique in painting was separable from the subject to which the artist applied it, enabled him to see the blooms he painted not as botanical specimens, but as things which, though not necessarily significant in themselves, would generate significant art upon the canvas. At the same time, the naturalist bias of the milieu in which he had been brought up encouraged him to try and give a completely objective description of all the nuances of color and form which he saw in the bouquet he had arranged" (Edward Lucie-Smith, Henri Fantin-Latour, New York, 1977, pp. 22-23).