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A large bouquet of white, blue and yellow flowers in a blue and white vase

A white porcelain vase with a blue floral design sits on a stone counter top in front of a mottled, warm gray background. The top of the vase is obscured by the profusion of flowers that burst out from it in all directions, spilling out in front, onto the counter. Several large white, and pale pink carnations are surrounded by green leaves, and bunches of smaller flowers in light blue, yellow and violet. Bright soft light from the left casts a shadow of the vase on the counter at lower right.

Gallery Text

For many French artists during the 1860s, the floral still life persisted as a test of pure painterly ability. This exuberant bouquet in a Japanese vase from early in Renoir’s career attests to the artist’s engagement with past art historical traditions. He addresses the ennobled Dutch practice of still life through the large scale of his canvas, while his attention to the textures and colors of the arrangement evokes the work of early eighteenth-century French painters like Antoine Watteau and François Boucher— artists he had studied as a teenager while working as a porcelain painter. The painting also demonstrates Renoir’s development as an artist. Instead of applying the paint with a palette knife— a technique he borrowed from artists such as Courbet— Renoir adopted a freer and thinner stroke using solely a brush.

Identification and Creation

Object Number
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, French (Limoges 1841 - 1919 Cagnes)
Spring Bouquet
Work Type
Persistent Link


Level 2, Room 2100, European and American Art, 17th–19th century, Centuries of Tradition, Changing Times: Art for an Uncertain Age
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Physical Descriptions

Oil on canvas
104.8 x 80.3 cm (41 1/4 x 31 5/8 in.)
framed: 131.5 x 106.8 x 11.5 cm (51 3/4 x 42 1/16 x 4 1/2 in.)
Inscriptions and Marks
  • Signed: l.r.: A. Renoir 1866
  • label: verso of frame, bottom, printed text, serrated edges: 14
  • inscription: verso of frame, left side, black crayon: X79
  • inscription: verso of frame, white chalk: 5-1
  • inscription: verso, top strainer, pen: 2365
  • inscription: verso, top of frame, graphite: [illegible]


Recorded Ownership History
Charles Le Coeur, Paris, 1866. Private Collector, Detroit, MI, sold; to [Wildenstein & Company, New York, NY], sold; to Grenville L. Winthrop, June 11, 1942, New York, NY, bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.

Acquisition and Rights

Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
Accession Year
Object Number
European and American Art


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Publication History

  • Paul Dumas, "Quinze Tableaux inédits de Renoir", La Renaissance de l'art français (July 1924), vol. VII, repr. p. 364
  • [Reproduction only], "French Painting", Bulletin of the Fogg Art Museum, Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, November 1943)., repr. in b/w p. 59
  • Chinese Sculpture, Bronzes, Jades, Paintings and Drawings, Egyptian and Persian sculpture, Pre-Columbian art; selected from the collection of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1943), p. 7
  • John Rewald, The History of Impressionism [1st ed.], The Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY, 1946), pp. 144, 147; repr. p. 145
  • Walter Pach, ed., Pierre Auguste Renoir, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1950), repr. opposite p. 34
  • Jean Cassou, Die Impressionisten und ihre Zeit (Lucerne, Switzerland, 1953), repr. as pl. 33
  • Milton S. Fox, Pierre Auguste Renoir, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1953), repr. p. 9
  • Germain Bazin, Das Blumenbouquet: Gemälde grosser Meister, Kindler Verlag (Munich, Germany, c. 1959), repr.
  • Enciclopedia Universale dell'Arte (Rome, Italy, c. 1960), repr.
  • William Gaunt, Renoir, Phaidon Press (London, England, 1962), repr. in color no. 1
  • Beverley Nichols, The Art of Flower Arrangement, George Rainbird (London, England, 1967), repr. in color p. 111
  • Dorothy W. Gillerman, ed., Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1969), no. 91, repr.
  • Agnes Mongan, "Renoir's Spring Bouquet", Nihon Keizai Shimbun (Tokyo, Japan, September 1970), repr. in color p. 21
  • Pierre Cabanne, Renoir, Réalités-Hachette (Paris, France, 1970), repr. in color p. 46
  • Elda Fezzi, L'Opera Completa di Renoir nel periodo impressionista, 1869-1883, Rizzoli Editore (Milan, Italy, 1972), p. 90, repr. in b/w; color plate 12, p. 89
  • Masakazu Yamazaki and Hideo Tomiyama, Renoir, ed. Toshio Nishimura, Japan Art Center (Tokyo, Japan, 1972), repr. p. 112; color plate 17
  • James N. Carpenter, Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 1974), p. 89, cat. 45, ill.
  • Diane Kelder, The Great Book of French Impressionism, Abbeville Press (New York, NY, 1980), repr. in b/w p. 227
  • Barbara Ehrlich White, Renoir: His Life, Art, and Letters, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. (New York, NY, 1984), repr. in color p. 12
  • The Impressionists (Japan, c. 1990), repr. in color p. 40
  • Kristin A. Mortimer and William G. Klingelhofer, Harvard University Art Museums: A Guide to the Collections, Harvard University Art Museums and Abbeville Press (Cambridge and New York, 1986), no. 214, p. 188, repr. in color
  • Kimio Nakayama, Runowaru [Renoir] (Tokyo, Japan, 1986), p. 6, repr.
  • Bruce Bernard, ed., The Impressionist Revolution, Orbis Publishing Ltd. (London, England, 1986), repr. in color p. 171, p. 258
  • Horst Keller, Auguste Renoir, Bruckmann Verlag (Munich, Germany, 1987), repr. in color pl. 14, p. 21
  • Nicholas Wadley, ed., Renoir: A Retrospective, Hugh Lauter Levin Associates, Inc. (New York, NY, 1987), repr. in color, pl. 4, p. 20
  • "Renoir", Asahi Graph, Orion Press (Tokyo, Japan, 1989), repr. in color no. 2
  • Anne Distel, Les Collectionneurs des Impressionistes: Amateurs et marchands, La Bibliothèque des Arts (Paris, France, 1989), repr. in color p. 17, no. 10, repr in b/w
  • Edgar Peters Bowron, European Paintings Before 1900 in the Fogg Art Museum: A Summary Catalogue including Paintings in the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 1990), p. 91, color plate; pp. 126, 253, repr. b/w cat. no. 378
  • Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Renoir by Renoir, ed. Rachel Barnes, Webb and Bower (Exeter, England, 1990), repr. in color p. 23; text p. 22
  • Violette de Mazia, "Form and Matter: the Form of Renoir's Color", Vistas (1991), vol. V, no. 2, repr. in b/w pl. 2
  • Nobuo Abe, Great History of Art: Koki inshoha to seikimatsu no miroyoku (Kyoto, Japan, 1991), p. 40, repr.
  • Bernard Denvir, Impressionism, the Painters and the Paintings, Studio Editions (London, England, 1991), repr. in color, pl. 64
  • Anne Distel, Renoir il faut embellir, Réunion des Musées Nationaux / Editions Gallimard (Paris, France, 1993), repr. in color p. 12
  • Masterpieces of world art : Fogg Art Museum, Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, 1997
  • Chikashi Kitazaki and Mina Oya, ed., Between Reality and Dreams: Nineteenth Century British and French Art from the Winthrop Collection of the Fogg Art Museum, exh. cat., National Museum of Western Art (Ueno, 2002), p. 30, repr. as fig. 22
  • Stephan Wolohojian, ed., A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Yale University Press (U.S.) (New York, 2003), no. 110, pp. 274-276, repr. in color
  • Christopher Riopelle, Harvard's Winthrop Collection: Nineteenth-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, exh. cat., National Gallery Company Limited (London, 2003), p. 37, cat. 24, ill.
  • Stephan Wolohojian, Ingres, Burne-Jones, Whistler, Renoir... La Collection Grenville L. Winthrop, exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and Réunion des Musées Nationaux (Paris, France, 2003), no. 110, pp. 285-286, repr. in color
  • Kyoko Kagawa, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Shogakukan Inc. (Tokyo, Japan, 2006), pp. 92-93, repr. in color
  • Guy-Patrice Dauberville and Michel Dauberville, Renoir 1858-1881, Editions Bernheim-Jeune (Paris, 2007), p. 120, ill. as no. 21
  • Bernhard Mendes Bürgi and Michael F. Zimmerman, Renoir Between Bohemia and Bourgeoisie. The Early Years, exh. cat., ed. Nina Zimmer, Kunstmuseum Basel (Basel, Switzerland, 2012), repr. p. 232, fig. 40.

Exhibition History

  • Chinese sculpture, bronzes, jades, paintings and drawings, Egyptian and Persian sculpture, Pre-Columbian art : selected from the collection of Grenville Lindall Winthrop, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 10/01/1943 - 02/28/1944
  • Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 01/23/1969 - 03/31/1969
  • Color in Art: A Tribute to Arthur Pope, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/25/1974 - 06/16/1974
  • Master Paintings from the Fogg Collection, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/13/1977 - 08/31/1977
  • A Private Passion: 19th-Century Paintings and Drawings from the Grenville L. Winthrop Collection, Harvard University, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon, Lyon, 03/15/2003 - 05/26/2003; National Gallery, London, 06/25/2003 - 09/14/2003; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 10/23/2003 - 01/25/2004
  • For Students of Art and Lovers of Beauty: Highlights from the Collection of Grenville L. Winthrop, Harvard University Art Museums, Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, 04/16/2004
  • 32Q: 2100 19th Century, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, 11/16/2014 - 01/01/2050

Subjects and Contexts

  • Google Art Project

Verification Level

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