White Lilacs in a Crystal Vase
1882 or 1883
Oil on canvas
In the last year of his life, while seriously ill and confined to his home, Edouard Manet painted at least 20 floral still-life paintings. From his bedside, he painted the bouquets brought by his closest friends. The restraint and simplicity of these compositions highlight their true subject: the artist’s masterful, seemingly effortless application of paint that defies the difficult circumstances in which they were made.
Man with a Pipe
Oil on canvas
“I love above all else the appearance of people who have grown old without breaking with old customs.” —Paul Cézanne
"Man with a Pipe is one of a group of studies related to The Card Players, one of Paul Cézanne’s most important pictorial projects. The local workers reminded Cézanne of the qualities he admired in another of his favorite subjects, Mont Sainte-Victoire — steadfast, unchanging, and monumental."
Chestnut Grove at Louveciennes
(Bois de châtaigniers à Louveciennes)
Oil on canvas (1872)
"Pissarro lived at Louveciennes, a suburb to the southwest of Paris, from 1869 to 1872. His work from this period is characterized by an intense interest in shadow and structure. In this painting, the diagonal of a battered trunk interrupts the verticals of the other trees while strong lines of shadow animate the ground. In the distance in the center is part of the aqueduct of Marly that originally transported water from the river Seine to the royal gardens at Versailles.
During the Franco-Prussian War (1870-1871), Pissarro fled to England. The studio he left behind at Louveciennes was used as quarters for Prussian soldiers, who destroyed large numbers of his pictures."
Portrait of Richard Gallo
Oil on canvas (1881)
Richard Gallo, a close friend of Gustave Caillebotte and editor of the liberal newspaper Le Constitutionnel, is shown with his arms folded defiantly across his chest and a copy of the conservative rival paper, Le Figaro, on his lap. Caillebotte developed a distinctive style characterized by spatial distortions that often suggest the mood or psychology of his subjects.
Depictions of modern Parisian life, whether on the streets or inside middle-class homes, dominated Caillebotte’s paintings of the 1870s and early 1880s.
Under the Orange Tree
Oil on canvas (1889)
Berthe Morisot was a leading and dedicated member of the Impressionists, whose professional artist association was the first to admit women and men equally. As a wealthy middle-class woman, she was not able to access the spaces of urban modernity, such as concert cafés and dance halls, that men often depicted. Her paintings thus reflect the feminine, often domestic sphere to which she was confined.
Here, her daughter Julie sits in the garden of Morisot’s winter home in the south of France, near brightly rendered orange trees and a parrot in a birdcage.
Mill at Limetz
Oil on canvas (1888)
Over the course of his long career, Claude Monet gradually shifted his attention from urban subjects and focused increasingly on capturing the effects of light on water, whether rivers, the ocean, or his famous water lily pond. Mill at Limetz is a dazzling example of his later style, characterized by dense applications of paint. Here, fleeting reflections on the river’s surface are transformed into a thickly woven tapestry of luminous color.
The Lock of Saint-Mammès
"Horizontal in format, this landscape features a view of a waterway populated by several barges. The foreground is entirely comprised of water, while the middle ground is occupied by an embankment and low lavender-hued wall that runs the length of the canvas. Small figures can be seen on the boats as well as the embankment. Three houses can be seen on the left side of the middle ground, with green trees visible behind multiple points of the wall. A hazy blue sky occupies most of the top half of the composition. The brushwork is short and choppy, and can be seen throughout the picture’s surface. The overall aesthetic is sketch-like, with unpainted or thinly painted areas in the sky suggesting atmosphere and transparent clouds.