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Bouquet of Lilacs, 1875-1880

Pierre-Auguste Renoir

French, 1841-1919
Oil on canvas
21-1/4 x 25-3/4 in. (54 x 65.4 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, from the Estate of Jennifer Jones Simon
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Pierre-Auguste Renoir made floral still lifes throughout his long career. Like his scenes of contemporary life, his paintings of flowers project an inviting image of bourgeois domesticity. Whether he was depicting a bouquet of spring foliage, a gathering of friends in the artist’s studio or a Provençal landscape, Renoir did not engage with the more difficult issues of alienation and tension inherent to the modern world. Instead, using the seductively soft, pillowy texture of his brushstrokes, he presented agreeable—and by extension, saleable—scenes of comfort and beauty.

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