One of Edouard Manet’s paintings that showcase his flower still lifes is “Lilacs in a Glass Vase.” Displayed at the Alte Nationalgalerie in Berlin, it features white lilacs cuttings inside a glass vase. Manet was an influential artist who followed poet Charles Baudelaire’s call to become a painter of modern life. He led a bohemian lifestyle, scandalizing the French Salon public with strikingly contemporary images of urban life.
Manet’s disregard for academic conventions is evident in his artwork, evidenced by his unique style in “Lilacs in a Glass Vase.” The painting depicts the natural and the artificial realm harmoniously. The flowers appear real and exude fragility while set against an illusory background characterized by shades of green and purple hues. The use of light surrounding the bouquet imparts depth and creates shadow beneath the rim of the vase.
Completing this painting series shows that Manet had an undeniable talent for capturing french realism movement using vivid colors and naturalistic style despite coming from an academic background beforehand. Unfortunately, he passed away at 51 years old due to complications from syphilis after many painful months, cutting short what could have possibly been more great works he would have created for future generations to appreciate.