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Nature morte: dahlias, raisins et pêches
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About the item

Best known as a painter of still-lifes, Fantin-Latour never tired of depicting flowers and fruits in endless variations. In the present work he combined a bouquet of colourful dahlias in a green vase with a bunch of grapes and peaches, arranged on a table top. The precision with which he depicted his subject, paying attention to the texture and various colours of individual flowers and fruits, displays Fantin-Latour’s virtuosity in capturing their ephemeral and fleeting beauty. This technique, which allows the artist to render differences in surface quality of various elements within the traditional genre of still-life, owes much to the Old Masters whose paintings he studied at the Louvre, particularly those by the eighteenth-century master Chardin. Unlike his friends from the Impressionist circle, Fantin-Latour rarely painted outdoors, preferring the studied and controlled environment of the studio. Douglas Druick compared his still-lifes with those executed by Edouard Manet:\n\n‘Fantin also has shown more interest than Manet in breaking away from the conventions of still-life composition. Where Manet, following tradition, has aligned the various objects on a buffet, parallel to the picture plane, Fantin has looked for an arrangement that, while controlled, suggests the randomness of nature […] This successful compromise between order and disorder allowed Fantin the best of both worlds’ (D. Druick in Fantin-Latour (exhibition catalogue), National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1983, p. 124). This truthfulness to nature is beautifully exemplified in the present work in the richness of flowers in the vase and the seemingly spontaneous arrangement of the fruits spilling out of the plates. The versatility and endless possibilities offered by these subjects provided the artist with an infinite source of inspiration, and the present composition demonstrates the mastery and refinement that he had already reached in the early stages of his career as a painter.\nSigned Fantin and dated 1868 (lower right)
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medium

Oil on canvas

creator

Henri Fantin-Latour

dimensions

51.4 by 48.6cm.

exhibition

London, Marlborough Fine Art, French Masters, 1954, no. 25 London, Marlborough Fine Art, Fantin-Latour Flower Paintings, 1962, no. 3, illustrated in the catalogue

literature

Madame Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l'œuvre complet de Fantin-Latour, Paris, 1911, no. 311, listed p. 44

provenance

Charles J. Galloway, Knutsford, Cheshire (sale: Christie's, London, Galloway Collection, 24th June 1905, lot 121) Humphrey Roberts, London (sale: Christie's, London, Humphrey Roberts Collection, 22nd May 1908, lot 141) Kenneth M. Clark, London (sale: Christie's, London, 25th April 1947, lot 20) Mr Newman, London Marlborough Fine Art, London (acquired by 1954) Mr & Mrs Neville Blond, London Mrs Elaine Blond, London (sale: Sotheby's, London, 24th June 1986, lot 8) Acquavella Galleries, Inc., New York Private Collection, USA (acquired from the above on 16th December 1986. Sale: Christie's, New York, 6th November 2002, lot 5) Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

signedDate

Signed Fantin and dated 1868 (lower right)

time_period

Painted in 1868.

creator_nationality_dates

1836 - 1904





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