Still Life with Apples and a Pot of Primroses, ca. 1890
Paul Cézanne (French, 1839–1906)
Oil on canvas; 28 3/4 x 36 3/8 in. (73 x 92.4 cm)
Bequest of Sam A. Lewisohn, 1951 (51.112.1)
Cézanne rarely painted flowering plants or fresh-cut bouquets, which were susceptible to wilting; purportedly, he preferred artificial flowers that could withstand his protracted painting sessions. All told, he included potted plants in only three still lifes, two views of the conservatory at Jas de Bouffan, and about a dozen exquisite watercolors made over the course of two decades (from about 1878 to 1906). Cézanne seems to have reserved this particular table, with its scalloped apron and distinctive bowed legs, for three of his finest still lifes of the 1890s.
This view of Chinese primroses was once owned by the ardent gardener Claude Monet.