Chrysanthemums in the Garden at Petit-Gennevilliers

Gustave Caillebotte French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 824

Although Caillebotte was a lifelong gardener, his interest in floral subjects did not develop until the 1880s. This work of 1893 depicts flowers that he cultivated on his property at Petit-Gennevilliers, a small town on the Seine just northwest of Paris. Chrysanthemums were hugely popular in France, celebrated for their resplendent colors and associations with East Asia, whose arts and cultures were greatly admired by Europeans. This unusual, close-up view of densely packed blossoms has been related to Caillebotte’s project for dining room doors ornamented with images of plants—a conception akin to the decorative series that his friend Monet based on his own garden at Giverny.

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Chrysanthemums in the Garden at Petit-Gennevilliers, Gustave Caillebotte (French, Paris 1848–1894 Gennevilliers), Oil on canvas

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