Flowers (Alternative Title: September Bouquet)

Henri Fantin-Latour, 1836 - 1904

Flowers (Alternative Title: September Bouquet)

Henri Fantin-Latour 1836 - 1904


This dazzling bouquet has a large white dahlia near its centre, surrounded by carnations, gypsophila, wallflowers, asters and lupins. The colourful, lifelike blooms sit in contrast to the flat, grey background. This is an unusual still life in that it offers the viewer an aerial view of the bunch of flowers. The technique of painting is precise, with fine details of petals, stems and leaves meticulously picked out. 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 the 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 (Alternative Title: September Bouquet)

Creators Name

Henri Fantin-Latour

Date Created



frame: 58cm x 68.2cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Transferred from the Royal Manchester Institution.


© Manchester Art Gallery

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