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Arts of Europe

The MFAH collections of art created on the European continent encompass artistic styles across the time line of history, from the ancient world to the Middle Ages, and the Early Modern era to the 21st century.

 
 
 
PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR
French, 1841 - 1919
Still Life with Bouquet
1871
Oil on canvas

28 13/16 x 23 3/16 inches

 
The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

The Robert Lee Blaffer Memorial Collection,
gift of Sarah Campbell Blaffer

Arts of Europe
 
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"Painting is done to decorate walls. So it should be as rich as possible. For me a picture . . . should be something likeable, joyous, and pretty—yes, pretty." —Pierre-Auguste Renoir

In this complex arrangement of luxurious objects, Pierre-Auguste Renoir has created a work that is both pleasing and intriguing. With his characteristically delicate touch, the Impressionist master evokes rich textures in a sumptuous color harmony of umber, yellow, red, and white. Not surprisingly, Renoir's favorite painters were Francois Boucher and Jean-Honorè Fragonard, 18th-century artists who specialized in pretty paintings produced for an audience that was concerned, above all, with pleasure. The most directly referenced influence in Still Life with Bouquet, however, is the tradition of Realism that Édouard Manet was so thrillingly reviewing at the time. The print hanging on the wall is Manet's etched reproduction of Little Cavaliers by the 17th-century Spanish master of Realism, Diego Velazquez.