Wild Flowers (Primary Title)
Still Life of Wildflowers (Bouquet de fleurs) (Exhibition Title)

Alfred Sisley, English, active in France, 1839 - 1899 (Artist)

ca. 1875
oil on canvas
Unframed: 25 3/4 × 19 7/8 in. (65.41 × 50.48 cm)
Framed: 33 5/8 × 27 7/8 × 3 1/2 in. (85.41 × 70.8 × 8.89 cm)
Of the nine known still-life paintings by Sisley, this is the only flower subject. He approached the canvas in a characteristically Impressionist manner, depicting the play of light on a vase of flowers in front of a window. Unlike his landscapes of the early 1870s, which display a harmonious and tonal color applied by a broader brushstroke, this painting exemplifies Sisley's later style. The artist used an increasingly varied palette, evident in the bright red and pink tones accented by flecks of yellow in the floral arrangement. The brushstrokes are more vigorous and free, and Sisley applies the paint in juxtaposing directions to create a sense of movement in the work. The close framing of the vase and the obscure, sparsely rendered background confuses the viewer's immediate perception of the background's depth and perspective. The round table, chair, and unframed landscape paintings that hang on the wall become discernible only after scrutinizing the scene.
Signed bottom right: "Sisley"
Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon
2019-2020: "Van Gogh Monet Degas, The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", Palazzo Zabarella, Padua, Italy, October 26, 2019 - March 1, 2020

2019-2021: Van Gogh, Monet, Degas, and Their Times: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019; Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson, MS, April 4, 2020 - January 10, 2021

2018-2019: "Van Gogh, Monet, Degas: The Mellon Collection of French Art from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts", The Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, March 17 - July 15, 2018; Oklahoma Museum of Art, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, June 22 - September 22, 2019

Bouquets: French Still-Life Painting from Chardin to Matisse, Dallas Museum of Art, October 26, 2014 - February 8, 2015; Van Gogh, Manet, and Matisse: The Art of the Flower, VMFA, March 21, 2015 - June 21, 2015; In Bloom: Painting Flowers in the Age of Impressionism, Denver Art Museum, July 19 - October 11, 2015

French Paintings from the Collections of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon and Mrs. Mellon Bruce,” National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 17 March – 1 May 1966, no. 74 (illus.)

A World of Flowers, Paintings, and Prints,” Philadelphia Museum of Art, May-June 1963

“Magic of Flowers,” Wildenstein & Co., New York, April-May 1954, no. 74

“Impressionisten,” Kunsthalle, Basel, September 1942, no. 92 (illus.)
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.