Still Life with Guelder Roses
1892, reworked 1929
Oil on canvas
Pierre Bonnard was a member of the Nabis, a group of young artists that emerged in the 1890s. They produced intimate paintings of domestic subjects in a flat, decorative style that was heavily influenced by Japanese art and the work of Paul Gauguin.
In 1892, when Bonnard started this still life, he emphasized surface patterns and simplified, flattened forms. Nearly 40 years later, when his style had become much more painterly, he added brushstrokes of pale yellow to the blossoms, creating a sense of three-dimensionality that was intentionally absent from the earlier composition.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
by any other name would smell as sweet.”
— William Shakespeare
🍦Weekly Photo Challenge: Sweet🍦
Dell at Helmingham Park
John Constable’s personal vision and immediate encounters with nature shaped his landscape paintings. This approach links him to a central tenant of Romanticism. While earlier British artists aspired to represent an idealized view of an imagined landscape, Constable strove to capture the local scenery of his native Suffolk, England.
Constable's intimate vision, as exemplified by this work, was characteristic of the newly intensified attitude toward nature adopted by the Romantic movement. He first visited this dell in 1800, when he wrote to a friend, "Here I am quite alone among the oaks and solitude of Helmingham Park… there are abundance of fine trees of all sorts." He visited once more in 1814, but this is a late work of memory. Constable enhances the rustic atmosphere by including a foreground cow and, in the distance, a stag and red deer. His technique is loose and free, making his trees appear as though they are sighing and swaying in the wind.
“At night I dream that you and I are two plants
that grew together, roots entwined,
and that you know the earth and the rain like my mouth,
since we are made of earth and rain.”
― Pablo Neruda