Bouquet of Flowers in a Blue Porcelain Vase
Anne Vallayer-Coster ( French, 1744 - 1818 )
Painted at the height of Vallayer-Coster’s artistic powers, this still-life painting (one of a pendant pair) belonged to a high-ranking official of the entourage of the Queen of France, Marie Antoinette. Together the paintings were exhibited at the Salon of 1777, the year after they were painted. Vallayer-Coster was one of four women painters who enjoyed the privileges and prestige of membership in the Royal Academy during the last quarter of the 18th century. Through the patronage of her earliest champion, Marie Antoinette, and the sheer virtuosity of her talent, Vallayer-Coster’s career flourished throughout the 1770s and 80s, only fading with the tumult of the French Revolution in 1789. Celebrated especially for her brilliant depictions of flower arrangements, Vallayer-Coster was considered the successor to Jean-Siméon Chardin as the foremost still-life painter of the French school.