Fleurs dans un vase (c.1866)

Renoir, Pierre-Auguste (1841-1919)

Fleurs dans un vase (Flowers in a Vase)
Oil on canvas, 81.3 x 65.1 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

A loose arrangement of colorful wildflowers bursting out of a red clay jug sits near the back left corner of a tabletop and fills the top two-thirds of this vertical still life painting. Soft light from the lower left illuminates tight clusters of silvery gray and white blooms up along the center, which are surrounded by delicate butter and lemon-yellow flowers on tall stems covered with pine and pea-green leaves. Brilliant poppy-red and cornflower-blue flowers punctuate the upper right and lower left of the arrangement. Small flowers in the lower right are painted with short daubs of navy blue dotted around green stems. One white-petaled daisy unfurls near the jug’s short, rounded handle, which faces us. Thin stems covered with small leaves in shades of pine, emerald, and spring green fill out the arrangement. The table is loosely painted with thin patches of apple green layered over oatmeal and dark brown. The background is mottled in sage green and steel gray. (NGA)