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Vase of Flowers (After Cézanne)

Vase of Flowers (After Cézanne), 1896

Odilon Redon
French, 1840-1916
Oil on canvas
18-1/4 x 21-3/4 in. (46.4 x 55.2 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Neison Harris
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on View

Redon, the foremost flower painter of his generation, admired the still lifes of Cézanne and here imitated one quite literally. Temporarily entrusted with Vase of Flowers by its second owner, Andries Bonger, Redon produced this copy. Returning to the artist’s studio to pick up his Cézanne, Bonger is said to have mistaken Redon’s copy for the original, exclaiming, “You are really too nice . . . to have cleaned the picture.” Whether or not the story is true, close examination reveals obvious differences between the two canvases: Cézanne’s brushwork is more angular and expressive, his palette more varied; Redon’s picture is softer and warmer, its flowers described with blurry, feathery strokes. Cézanne invents his forms; Redon imitates them.

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