Wild flowers in a high vase by Odilon Redon

Wild flowers in a high vase by Odilon Redon

Flower still lifes – this is a special department of the “still life” genre. They are less than any other still lifes, must be truthful. Even the old Dutch masters allowed themselves to gather in one still life flowers growing in different parts of the world and blooming at different times. And they were all portrayed by painters fresh and in full bloom. Approximately the same done and Redon. His floral arrangements are fantasies about flowers. We must assume that the artist followed the Dutch tradition quite consciously.

In the Museum of Fine Arts of his native Bordeaux, there was a very good collection of Dutch painting, which, in particular, included flower still lifes. There is no doubt that in his youth Redon often visited this museum, but at that time his still lifes were of little interest. He remembered them only after a few decades. And he created a whole series of lovely bouquets, as believable as they are incredible.

In the work “Wildflowers in a high vase” there are quite real flowers, so from this point of view the still life does not contradict reality. However, in the interests of the composition, Redon so idealizes the color and shape of the plants, that they become more like fantastic butterflies than earth flowers.

Special importance attached master and the choice of vessel for flowers. In this case, the vase appears as a continuation of the bouquet. The blue tones at its base echo the blue colors, and its shape, smooth and fluid, “rounds off” the whole still life, gives it completeness and stability.

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