Patrick Noon

It’s this circle of Fantin-Latour, James Abbott McNeill Whistler, and other artists who in the 1860s primarily in England and then rapidly in France who were beginning to promote this idea of art for the sake of art and not for the sake of propaganda, exposition, narrative, nothing, just pure painting.

It is about avoiding any kind of subject that someone may try to interpret. You’re not going to try to interpret a basket of fruit, it is what it is. He just wanted to paint beautiful things, beautifully colored things in their natural setting and that’s what he did with these still lifes.

So they became the means of experimenting with different types of technical invention

fast drying varnish instead of oil as the medium for his pigments, that kind of thing, you see that in these floral studies. But he was always found of flowers and in landscape and nature and from the earliest date when he would visit George Sand at her house in Nohant, he would do studies in watercolor, flowers and vegetation. And then when he purchased his own private estate in Champrosay, which is a small town outside of Paris, but it’s adjacent to a forest, and he would go there quite often in the last decades of his life just to escape society and the profession in Paris. And he would spend days there and he’d write about his observations of flowers and nature. In fact discovered most of his important perception and optics while walking around the forest of Champrosay.

Eric Bruce

The Green button will share how Delacroix’s garden in this painting had an impact on other artists. Why did Delacroix start painting still-lifes for the first time at the end of his life? Find out by pressing the red button.