January 2017 - Henry Fantin-Latour

"Alongside his work as a portrait painter, Fantin-Latour produced a large number of still lifes. In the 1860s, these even played a major role in his career. It was in fact in England, which he visited regularly, that Fantin-Latour found many enthusiasts for his paintings of flowers and fruit. Purchases and commissions then followed, ensuring commercial success for the painter, which, until then, his other work had not provided. [...] Fantin-Latour's still lifes, filled with poetry and a little old fashioned, were able to impress the public. [...] In the hierarchy of the genres laid down by the Académie des Beaux-arts in the 17th century, the still life with fruit or flowers was relegated to the lowest level. By freeing himself from all literary, religious or historical pretexts (supposed to confer worth and nobility to the work) Fantin-Latour was taking the opposite view to these academic principles. This painting, which tells no story, is intended purely to appeal to the eyes, thus embodying one of the main aims of modern art."

Quote from: http://www.musee-orsay.fr/en/collections/works-in-focus/painting/commentaire_id/flowers-and-fruit-20516.html?cHash=a008e29012