Roses and Peonies in a Vase
Pierre-Auguste Renoir ( French, 1841 - 1919 )
In his youth, Pierre-Auguste Renoir worked in a porcelain factory, painting floral patterns on fine china. His interest in flowers continued throughout his artistic career, resulting in approximately three hundred floral still lifes that date from the late 1860s until his death in 1919. Here a bouquet of peonies, rosebuds, and a few other flowers burst forth from the column of a blue ceramic vase decorated with an Asian floral motif. The arrangement is precariously balanced on a dark table set within a furnished interior complete with plush red armchair and a painting in a gilded frame. Renoir played with the colors and textures of these elements, creating a continuum between the cut flowers and floral motifs on the vase and the painting in the background. This painting was among Margaret McDermott’s favorites due to her love of flowers, especially peonies, which she helped identify in this painting.