Roses Tremieres (Hollyhocks) Berthe Morisot Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Roses Tremieres (Hollyhocks) is a rare artwork by Morisot in that there are no figures featured at all. The painting entirely focuses on a beautiful garden, with the busy foreground dominating most of the composition.

There is plenty of evidence of humanity within the scene, though, such as with the chair and table found to the right hand side. The artist chooses to crop aggressively across the middle of the table which is a technique which happened more often during this period. Previously, the norm would certainly have been to include all of the table or to leave it out completely. Aside from that, it is nature that takes over, with some tall, stunning flowers reaching into the air. The garden has been left to grow fairly naturally, without too much curation or amending, and so the scene is fairly dense. Flowers are allowed to mingle with each other in a relatively wild manner, and the height of the flowers in the foreground means little else can be seen, other than some trees in the far distance. It would be necessary to see this painting up close in order to spot the different varieties included by the artist here.

Roses Tremieres (Hollyhocks) was completed in 1884 and can now be found in the Musée Marmottan Monet in Paris, France. Monet himself was a keen gardener and regularly captured scenes from his own garden, which he had built specifically for his work. This painting is around 60cm tall by 50cm wide, which again is entirely typical of the movement as a whole. Impressionists only tended to work with larger canvases when producing multi-figure pieces which also incorporated detailed backgrounds, and smaller pieces tended to work well with their impressionist style. We do see a bright blue sky showing through from the bottom of the garden and it is interesting to see this style of garden where a wild atmosphere has been allowed to run free. It is not known if this artwork was produced in a garden of a friend or family member, or someone else.

Flowers appear many times within western art, particularly so with female artists. We are all aware of the work of Georgia O'Keeffe for example, and some of her most famous depictions of flowers included the likes of Jimson Weed, Oriental Poppies and Red Cannas. In the case of the Impressionists, flowers would more likely be a supporting element to the scene rather than as dominant as O'Keeffe's modernist approach would deliver. Often the indoor scenes would have potted plants added for colour, and then we also see the sort of garden paintings which are to be found within the artwork displayed here. This differs from the figurative work which dominates most of her oeuvre and offers something therefore just a little different.