Nature morte avec fleurs et figues de Barbarie (c.1885)

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (1841-1919)

Nature morte avec fleurs et figues de Barbarie (Still Life with Flowers and Prickly Pears)
Oil on canvas, 73.3 x 59.4 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

This picture is closely related to Still Life: Flowers, 1885 (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York), which depicts the same vase—with its distinctive elephant-head handles—and wood table or dresser. Featuring an autumnal bouquet and Cézannesque arrangement of prickly pears, the present still life was likely painted the same year, in the wake of a visit with Cézanne that summer. At this time, Renoir sought to combine the luminosity of Impressionism with a greater degree of classicism, prompting him to explore techniques that would emulate the dry, light colors of Italian frescoes, which have led to some surface cracks. (MET)