John La Farge (American, 18351910)
Gouache and watercolor on white wove paper; 14 1/2 x 10 7/16 in. (36.8 x 26.7 cm)
Gift of Priscilla A. B. Henderson, in memory of her grandfather, Russell Sturgis, a founder of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1950 (50.113.3)
When La Farge painted flowers in oil during the 1860s, he preferred to capture their essence rather than to pursue scientific accuracy. The superb floral watercolors that he painted in the 1880s recall his earlier oils, but their rich color bespeaks his mastery of the watercolor medium and their decorative vitality reflects his experiments in stained glass. An astute critic remarked, "His flowers have no botanical truth, but are burning with love and beauty."