Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904): Spring Flowers with a Cup

Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904): Spring Flowers with a Cup

11/21/2021, 3:27:52 PM
Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904): Spring Flowers with a Cup and a Saucer, 1865, Oil on canvas, 48 x 39.7 cm (18 7/8 x 15 5/8 in.), Private Collection . . . The present picture, with its exceptional crispness and startling realism, demonstrates the power of Fantin-Latour’s exquisite still-lifes. The artist's depictions of flowers, fruit, crystal and porcelain number among the great examples of trompe l'oeil painting of the late 19th century. Collectors throughout Europe marveled at the extraordinary clarity and perfection of detail in these still-lifes, which Fantin painted in the three decades preceding his death in 1904. Fantin-Latour's floral still-life paintings were first exhibited in London at the Royal Academy in 1864. The paintings of the 1870s were marked by a purity and simplicity of composition, whereas the still-lifes of the 1880s were constructed with a more complex and detailed arrangement. Because of the extraordinary eye for detail that he had developed as a portrait painter, the artist was capable of seeing each flower with remarkable specificity. In his review of the Salon of 1889, Émile Zola described the artist's work as follows: "The canvases of M. Fantin-Latour do not assault your eyes, they do not leap at you from the walls. They must be looked at for a length of time in order to penetrate them and their conscientiousness, their simple truth - you take these in entirely, and then you return"

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