Still life with Peonies and Mock Orange, 1877
Camille Pissarro (1830-1903)
Simple cottage garden flowers were the preferred subject of the impressionists’ flower still lifes. Here Camille Pissarro has used mock orange, grass, honeysuckle, irises and peonies, his wife’s favourite flowers, placing the bouquet loosely in a vase.
The painting is probably the product of a competition between Pissarro and his painter friend Paul Cézanne. From 1872 the two artists lived and worked in the vicinity of Paris – Pissarro in Pontoise and Cézanne in Auvers-sur-Oise. In 1873 they entered into a ‘dialogue’ in the form of landscapes and flower still lifes. When one artist produced a painting, the other endeavoured to better this.