features a glass vase standing on a stone sill. The vase contains
tulips, poppies, roses, marigolds, morning glory, guelder rose,
columbines, carnations, cow-parsley, brambles and wheat, with butterflies
and insects appearing on the flowers and sill. The picture, however,
is not just a painting of a vase of flowers, placed in front of
the artist. Several of these plants could not have flowered in the
same season and could not have been collected as they are shown
here, but would have been studied when in season and then put together
in the one composition.
It is a painting of contrasts: velvety petals sit alongside spiky
plants; unfurling buds jostle with wilting heads; some look towards
us with their full faces, others bow their heads so we only see
Although the flowers are the dominant feature of the painting, other
dimensions are added through the appearance of a snail crawling
along the underside of the ledge and the reflection of rooftops,
seen in the glass vase.