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Vase of Flowers, 1880-1881

Paul CĂ©zanne

French, 1839-1906
Oil on canvas
18-1/2 x 21-3/4 in. (47.0 x 55.2 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

The distinctive wallpaper in this still life identifies the location as No. 32, rue de l’Ouest, Cézanne’s address in Paris from 1880 to 1882; the lattice and lozenge pattern also serves to compress the painting’s imaginary space, emphasizing the analogy between papered background and painted surface. Cézanne’s dense, parallel strokes in the bouquet make identification of specific flowers difficult. Is the central blossom a rose? A peony? A carnation? Petals and leaves form a crowded intersection of brushstrokes. Not all portions of the composition are as thickly painted, however; along the bottom edge, where wall and tabletop meet, the pale ground shines through the thinly-applied greens and browns.

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