Branch of White Peonies and Secateurs

Among the impressionists, Manet was regarded as the greatest still life painter, especially about flowers. There were two main periods when he painted flowers, namely the medium-term of 1860s and his last time. Because of his serious illness, he was unable to draw large pictures. And then he turned to paint still life, which was easy for him to find prototype. His interest in painting flowers produced during learning at the museum, but he went to the museum aiming to explore the ancient painters’ secrets. During his travel to wife’s hometown—Holland, he studied very delicate works representing flowers, fruits and precious tableware made by Flemish painters. These things were put in a white tablecloth or carpet, reminding people of the feast and dishes related to the western churches. As defined by the tradition, still life was never reduced to simply imitate the real things, and always implied the philosophy or religion. A lot of Holland paintings appeared fully mature flowers and fruits which collapsed

were sure for death. The dark background chosen by the painter made the delicacy of white outline hazy and pink petals foil. The painting was made with a brush dipped in paint with more concentrated pigment and texture. The green leaves around the flowers enriched the auxiliary color points, fixing the theme of flowers on the upper left corner of the painting. These flowers in plenty of strokes were what the painter devoted to the writer and art critic Champfleury who was naturalism pioneer, one of his friends, and a close friend of Courbet, to express his respect for the conducive struggle for modern painting.