Chrysanthemums and French painters
They have no fragrance, but they are among the last flowers of the season. Imports from China, symbols of imperial Japan, blossoms of gold, flowers of the dead, they are one of my favorites. I am not alone, of course, and they have inspired painters, in particular in France.
Let’s begin with James Tissot, who captures here their variety of shape and color:
Renoir, of course, left us the most brilliant images of these flowers:
Now we can’t speak of 19th century painting without mentioning the grand master of Impressionism, Claude Monet, can we?
And we will conclude with Chrysanthemums and Bee, by the great Hokusai. But wait, will you say, Hokusai was not French! Well, no, but this print belonged to Monet’s extensive collection of Japanese woodblock prints. Which is in my opinion a good enough excuse to include this beautiful work in this post…