About this artwork

This is Chardin's only surviving flower piece and is one of his best known paintings. It illustrates beautifully his characteristic clarity and restraint. A blue and white Delft vase is filled with a variety of flowers. The white and blue colouring of some of the flowers and foliage echoes those of the vase, complemented by the pinks, reds and touches of yellow in the other blooms. The subtle play of light and shadow distinguishes the table from the background and its sombre tones are relieved by the colourful fallen flowers.

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Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin

Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin

Chardin specialised in the painting of still-life and simple domestic scenes which were remarkable for their clear, balanced compositions and technical virtuosity. His works were greatly admired by contemporaries and although they belonged to the lowly category of genre there was a ready market for them. Chardin was admitted to the French Academy in 1728 and from the mid 1750s was responsible for the organising and hanging of the Academy exhibitions at the Paris Salon. His work fell out of favour after his death, but interest was revived in the nineteenth century and his paintings influenced the realism of Millet and Courbet.