Flowers in a Vase

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1836 - 1904

Flowers in a Vase

Henri Fantin-Latour 1836 - 1904


Jonquils, narcissi, wallflowers, primroses, hyacinth and bluebells make up the flowers arranged in a tall glass vase. It stands on a table, but this is scarcely indicated and almost blends into the flat, grey background. The paint surface is quite dense and smooth, and the flowers seem to stand out from the canvas, scented and full of sap. Fantin-Latour studied from the age of ten with his father, Jean-Théodore Fantin-Latour (1805–75). In 1850, at fourteen, he began an apprenticeship in the Paris studio of Horace Lecocq de Boisbaudran, where he spent six years copying from the Old Masters and from nature, which was standard practice in mid-nineteenth-century ateliers. Following a brief spell at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he studied briefly with Gustave Courbet, although he would reject the latter's extreme realism. Fantin-Latour sometimes exhibited alongside the Impressionists, but he continued to show his work at the Salon, where his work attracted good reviews. From the 1870s, he developed further his early interest in mythological subjects and music, inspired by Old Master painting, and by the music of Wagner and Berlioz. The lustrous realism of this painting recalls that of 17th and 18th century Dutch masters of this genre and of the great 18th century French still life painter, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699-1779).

Object Name

Flowers in a Vase

Creators Name

Henri Fantin-Latour

Date Created



frame: 52.7cm x 44.8cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Dr David Lloyd Roberts bequest, 1920


© Manchester Art Gallery

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