European Art: 19th Century

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Tulips in a Vase, 1888-1890

Paul CĂ©zanne

French, 1839-1906
Oil on paper, mounted on board
28-1/2 x 16-1/2 in. (72.4 x 41.9 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

The exuberant vertical format of this still life makes it almost unique in Cézanne’s oeuvre. Though he had begun painting flowers in the 1870s alongside his friend and mentor Pissarro, Cézanne seldom painted tulips. More familiar in his work are the glowing fruits gathered on the table at left, a counterpoint to the bright blooms in the upper half of the composition. Although the artist likely painted this picture while visiting his wife in Paris, the earthenware vase in which the flowers are arranged is a souvenir of his native Provence.

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