Arts Everyday Living: It’s Flower Week in Art! A Late Bouquet by Manet, Impressionist at Heart


For several years, our blog featured a work of art every other day. So at least for a while, I am returning to that format, alternating with continuing chapters of my book BEYOND THE TUNNEL: THE ARTS AND AGING IN AMERICA.


So let’s begin today with Edouard Manet (1832-1883) and his exquisite FLOWERS IN A CRYSTAL VASE.


Edouard Manet, Flowers in a Crystal Vase, 1882, oil on canvas, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Can you identify some of the flowers or at least take a guess? Perhaps roses, carnations pansies, and maybe other blossoms? Painted with the vibrant colors, thick brushstrokes, and overall ambiguity of an Impressionist, although Manet never officially belonged to the group

Created during the last months of his life when he was mainly confined to his home, Manet created a life-affirming series of bouquets, brought to him by his many friends. FLOWERS IN A CRYSTAL VASE is likely his smallest canvas for unframed it is only 12 and 7/8 inches by 9 and 5/8 inches in size! Plus, Manet gave it to an unidentified woman, only known as “Mme. X.”

You can google more floral expressions by Manet:

Pinks and Clematis in a Crystal Vase, c. 1882, Musee D’Orsay, Paris

Bouquet of Peonies, c. 1882, Private Collection

Moss Roses in a Vase, c. 1882, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts

And would you like to become an “artist-gardener” in your home? Click:





In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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