71.8 x 58.4cm stretcher; 88.5 x 76.0 x 7.0cm frame
Neither his considerable number of mythological paintings, nor his many portraits, have eclipsed in interest Fantin-Latour's fabulous flower pieces. Occupying a contradictory position as modern productions deeply inflected by tradition, they seem to us the most fastidiously crafted of all paintings to have attracted the approval of the impressionists and their circle. Fantin-Latour was by no means an impressionist himself, and some of his fantasy pictures tend more towards symbolism; yet even at its most academic, his touch has the evanescence, the softness, we associate with someone like Manet. Indeed, Manet was his friend and intellectual collaborator. One of Fantin-Latour's most famous canvases records a gathering of artists in Manet's Batignolles studio. The still life reproduced here is the embodiment of elegance. The flowers, freshly picked and perfectly formed, have been set with easeful order in their vase. The opened fruit and table utensils suggest a breakfast piece. Ordinary enough as individual items, as an ensemble their arrangement alludes to ritual.
AGNSW Handbook, 1999.
Sarah Jane Hodges, pre 1923, Purchased by the AGNSW from Sarah Hodges 1923. Purchased through S. Penton, Sydney .
Mansini, post 16 Feb 1903, Purchased at Chrisite's London, 16 February 1903, lot no. 4, £246.15
James Fenton, pre 16 Feb 1903, Sold at Christie's London, 16 February 1903, lot no. 4
Margaret Olley (Australia, b.1923, d.2011) (Author), Jeffrey Smart (Italy; Australia, b.1921) (Author), Deborah Hart (South Africa; United Kingdom; Australia, b.1959) (Director), Christine France (Australia) (Co-ordinator), Favourites: Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart selections, Sydney, 2002. NOTE: No catalogue numbers; Margaret Olley selection.
Bruce James (Australia) (Author), Edmund Capon (England; Australia, b.1940) (Director), Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, Domain, 1999, 39 (colour illus.).
'French Impressions' by Ross Steele pg. 87-93, Art and Australia (Vol. 22, No. 1) Spring 1984, Spring 1984, 87, 88, 89 (colour illus.).
Editor Unknown (Editor), Art Gallery of New South Wales picturebook, Domain, 1972, 30 (colour illus.).
National Art Gallery of New South Wales (Australia, estab. 1874), An exhibition of French art, Sydney, 1944. cat. no. 78
Art in Australia [series 3, no. 8] Jun 1924, Jun 1924, 17.
An exhibition of French art at the National Art Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 04 Oct 1944–31 Oct 1944.
Favourites: Margaret Olley and Jeffrey Smart (2002), S.H. Ervin Gallery, 12 Jan 2002–24 Feb 2002.