Roses in a Vase

Roses in a Vase

c. 1890

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

(French, 1841-1919)

Oil on fabric

Unframed: 25.5 x 34 cm (10 1/16 x 13 3/8 in.)

Gift of Mrs. Henry White Cannon 1941.14

Description

The palette Renoir used to depict the seven roses in this still life ranges from various shades of red to warm whites, light yellows, and pinks. The artist declared, "'Painting flowers lets my brain rest. It does not cause the same tension of spirit as when I face a model. When I paint flowers, I put down tones, I boldly try values, without having to worry about losing a canvas.'" He was particularly fond of roses, whose full, rounded shapes he likened to the female body. In 1861, Renoir met Claude Monet (1840–1926) and later shared a studio with him. Monet became an important influence on Renoir's art, as can be seen here in the rapid brush strokes, thinly scuffled background, and buildup of paint (impasto) in the blooms.

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