Auguste Renoir - Vase of roses and dahlias 1884

Vase of roses and dahlias 1884
Vase of roses and dahlias
1884 41x31cm oil/canvas
Private collection

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From Sotheby’s auction house:
As was the case for many of the Impressionist painters, Renoir did not need to rely on the trompe l’œil techniques that had been utilised by artists for centuries in order to render his still-life so convincingly. Instead, he drew upon his own creative ingenuity and his initial impressions of the image, rendering it with extraordinary freshness. Few artists of his generation would approach this subject with the richness and sensitivity that is demonstrated in this picture and in others that he completed throughout the 1870s and 1880s.
It is not surprising that a floral still-life, especially one as lush and abundant as the present work, would have appealed to Renoir. He had started his career painting flowers on porcelain for the Sèvres workshop, and his progression with the subject evolved into rich depictions of floral arrangements on canvas by the late 1860s. As was noted at the time of a retrospective exhibition in 1888, ‘For an artist enamoured with color, flowers provide a perfect subject – infinitely varied, malleable to any arrangement. Several of Renoir's most beautiful paintings [...] are flower pieces. Renoir painted many pictures of flowers in addition to the more numerous figures and landscapes. Flowers appear frequently in his paintings as hat decorations or as part of the landscape behind figures even when they are not the main motif. Renoir himself said that when painting flowers he was able to paint more freely and boldly, without the mental effort he made with a model before him. Also, he found the painting of flowers to be helpful in painting human figures’ (Renoir Retrospective (exhibition catalogue), Nagoya City Art Museum, 1988, p. 247).