This picture belongs to a series of peonies that Manet painted in 1864–65. Reportedly his favorite flower, Manet grew peonies in his garden at Gennevilliers. Their broad petals and leaves and their delicate hues were perfect vehicles for his loose and sensuous brushwork and for his virtuosic handling of subtle harmonies of color.
the artist, Paris (until d. 1883; his inventory no. 87; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, February 4–5, 1884, no. 76, for Fr 130 to Chabrier); Emmanuel Chabrier, Paris (1884–d. 1894; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 26, 1896, no. 10, as "Vase de fleurs," for Fr 1,100); Mme Eugène Moullé, Paris (by 1896); her son, Albert Moullé, Paris (by 1902–23; sold to Hodebert); L. C. Hodebert, Paris (from 1923); [Étienne Bignou, Paris]; Mrs. R. A. Workman, London; Alexander Reid, Glasgow (1924–28; sold on April 30 to Reid & Lefevre); [Reid & Lefevre, London, 1928; sold on June 11 to Cargill]; David W. T. Cargill, Lanark, Scotland (1928–38; sold in February to Reid & Lefevre); [Reid & Lefevre, London, 1938–43; transfered in June to Bignou]; [Bignou Gallery, New York, from 1943]; Mrs. Millicent Rogers, Taos (until 1952); Joan Whitney Payson, New York and Manhasset (1952–d. 1975)
London. Lefèvre Galleries. "Important Pictures by Nineteenth-Century French Masters," May–June 1924, unnumbered cat. (as "Peonies").
Montreal. W. Scott & Sons. "Paintings by French Masters: "Delacroix to Dufy"," October–November 1938, no. 20.
Ottawa. location unknown. "Paintings by French Masters: "Delacroix to Dufy"," October–November 1938, no. 20.
Toronto. location unknown. "Paintings by French Masters: "Delacroix to Dufy"," October–November 1938, no. 20.
New York. Bignou Gallery. "Significant Landmarks of Nineteenth-Century French Painting," February 20–March 25, 1939, no. 11.
London. Reid & Lefevre. "Milestones in French Painting," June 1939, no. 18.
Detroit Institute of Arts. "The Age of Impressionism and Objective Realism," May 3–June 2, 1940, no. 27 (as "Vase of Flowers," lent by Bignou Gallery, New York).
New York. Bignou Gallery. "A Selection of 19th-century French Paintings," February 24–March 21, 1942, no. 8.
New York. Bignou Gallery. "Masterpieces by 19th-century French Painters," November 2–21, 1942, no. 9.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Paintings from Private Collections: Summer Loan Exhibition," July 6–September 4, 1960, no. 64 (lent by Mr. and Mrs. Charles S. Payson).
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "From Goya to Wyeth: The Joan Whitney Payson Collection," September 13–October 12, 1980, no. 17.
Tokyo. Isetan Museum of Art. "From Goya to Wyeth: The Joan Whitney Payson Collection," October 17–December 9, 1980, no. 17.
Shinjuku, Tokyo. Isetan Museum of Art. "Édouard Manet," June 26–July 29, 1986, no. 8.
Fukuoka Art Museum. "Édouard Manet," August 2–31, 1986, no. 8.
Osaka Municipal Museum of Art. "Édouard Manet," September 9–October 12, 1986, no. 8.
Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh. "Franse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten," March 15–May 31, 1987, no. 13.
Yokohama Museum of Art. "Treasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century," March 25–June 4, 1989, no. 87.
Fort Lauderdale. Museum of Art. "Corot to Cézanne: 19th Century French Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," December 22, 1992–April 11, 1993, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Origins of Impressionism," September 27, 1994–January 8, 1995, no. 98.
Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "Manet, les natures mortes," October 9, 2000–January 7, 2001, no. 26.
Baltimore. Walters Art Gallery. "January 30–April 22, 2001," January 30–April 22, 2001, unnumbered cat.
Inventaire après décès. June 18, 1883, no. 87 [published in Ref. Jamot and Wildenstein 1932, vol. 1, p. 108], valued at Fr 100, possibly this painting.
Théodore Duret. Histoire d'Édouard Manet et de son œuvre. Paris, 1902, p. 214, no. 85, as in the collection of M. Albert Moullé, Paris.
Étienne Moreau-Nélaton. Manuscrit de l'œuvre d'Édouard Manet, peinture et pastels. , unpaginated, no. 66 [Département des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris].
Julius Meier-Graefe. Édouard Manet. Munich, 1912, pp. 282, 324, dates it 1866, lists it as no. 76 in the Manet sale of 1884, stating that it was bought by Chabrier for Fr 130; erroneously gives Duret no. as 76 [see Ref. 1902].
Important Pictures by Nineteenth-Century French Masteres. Exh. cat., Lefèvre Galleries. London, 1924, unpaginated, unnumbered, ill., dates it about 1868.
A. Tabarant. Manet, histoire catalographique. Paris, 1931, pp. 124, 577, no. 76, dates it 1864; gives owners as Bignou, Paris, and a private collection, Scotland; claims that Mme Moullé [not Chabrier; see Ref. Meier-Graefe 1912] bought this picture at the 1884 sale, and that her son Albert Moullé sold it to Hodebert in 1923.
Paul Jamot and Georges Wildenstein. Manet. Paris, 1932, vol. 1, p. 129, no. 104; vol. 2, fig. 388, date it 1864; suggest that it is no. 87 of the inventory of the contents of Manet's studio taken after his death [see Ref. Manet 1883], and place it in a private collection in England.
Paintings by French Masters: 'Delacroix to Dufy'. Exh. cat., W. Scott & Sons. Montreal, 1938, unpaginated, no. 20, dates it about 1868.
Milestones in French Painting. Exh. cat., Reid & Lefevre. London, 1939, unpaginated, no. 18, ill., dates it about 1865.
Significant Landmarks of Nineteenth Century French Painting. Exh. cat., Bignou Gallery. New York, 1939, unpaginated, no. 11, ill., dates it about 1868.
A. Tabarant. Manet et ses œuvres. 4th ed. (1st. ed. 1942). Paris, 1947, pp. 94–95, 535, no. 83, fig. 83, dates it 1864.
Sandra Orienti inThe Complete Paintings of Manet. New York, 1967, p. 94, no. 74, ill.
Merete Bodelsen. "Early Impressionist Sales 1874–94 in the Light of some Unpublished 'procès verbaux'." Burlington Magazine 110 (June 1968), p. 344, publishes the "procès verbal" of the Manet estate sale, which confirms that it was sold to Chabrier for Fr 130 on the second day of the sale, February 5, 1884.
Denis Rouart and Daniel Wildenstein. Édouard Manet, catalogue raisonné. Paris, 1975, vol. 1, pp. 27, 92–93, no. 87, ill., date it 1864.
Charles S. Moffett. Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1985, pp. 34–35, ill. (color, overall and detail), remarks that it was painted in the summer of 1864.
Charles F. Stuckey and Juliet Wilson-Bareau inÉdouard Manet. Exh. cat., Isetan Museum of Art. Tokyo, 1986, p. 153, no. 8, colorpl. 8, date it spring 1865, based on a note by Léon Leenhoff, which affirms that it was "painted at 34 Boulevard des Batignolles," to which Manet and his family did not move until November 1864; remark that it is part of a group of six related still lifes with peonies, and that these works were among Manet's most warmly and widely appreciated; comment that this canvas represents a more restrained version of a larger picture with a bunch of peonies in the same ceramic vase (RW86).
Sjraar van Heutgen et al. inFranse meesters uit het Metropolitan Museum of Art: Realisten en Impressionisten. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum Vincent van Gogh, Amsterdam. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1987, pp. 52–53, no. 13, ill. (color).
Gary Tinterow inTreasures from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: French Art from the Middle Ages to the Twentieth Century. Exh. cat., Yokohama Museum of Art. [Tokyo?], 1989, p. 131, no. 87, ill. (color), dates it about 1865; remarks that some of the six still lifes of peonies painted in 1865 were exhibited in Paris at Cadart's gallery in May 1865; notes the Japanese red lacquer tray.
Roger Hurlburt. "Free Spirits." Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale) (December 20, 1992), p. 4D, dates it about 1865.
Helen Kohen. "Lasting Impressions." Miami Herald (December 20, 1992), p. 6I.
Henri Loyrette inOrigins of Impressionism. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1994, pp. 295, 405, no. 98, ill. (fig. 200 [color] and black and white) [French ed., Paris, 1994, pp. 295, 402, no. 98, ill. (fig. 200 [color] and black and white)], dates it spring 1864; calls it an unfinished first version of the work in the Musée d'Orsay (RW86), not a sketch.
George Mauner and Henri Loyrette. Manet: The Still-Life Paintings. Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. New York, 2000, pp. 84, 171, colorpl. 25 [French ed., "Manet: Les natures mortes," Paris, 2000, pp. 98, 171, no. 26, colorpl. 26], comments that this is the same vase used in the "Vase of Peonies" (RW86) but without the floral decorations.
Audrey Gay-Mazuel inWorking among Flowers: Floral Still-Life Painting in Nineteenth-Century France. Ed. Heather MacDonald and Mitchell Merling. Exh. cat., Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas, 2014, pp. 47–48, describes the vessel as a faience "baluster vase on a pedestal" with a "pronounced shoulder . . . very like that of the 'pots pourris' with lids produced in Marseilles between 1754 and 1770 by the manufactory of Gaspard Robert"; states that this is the only ceramic vase Manet included in his flower paintings and that it appears in just one other work, "Vase of Peonies on a Pedestal," also painted in 1864 (Musée d'Orsay, Paris).
This picture is one of a series of still lifes of peonies that Manet painted in 1864–65 (RW 1975, nos. 86, 88, and 91, Musée d'Orsay, Paris; no. 87, MMA; no. 90, private collection, New York). An earlier example is also in the Museum's collection (RW89). He returned to the subject at the end of his life (RW426, ca. 1883; Mr. and Mrs. Kurt Riezler).