Pink Saturday - Beverly, at the blog "How Sweet the Sound" hosts Pink Saturday. Let the color pink inspire you!
My desk is in a little alcove off the kitchen, and in front of me hangs an oil painting of a vase of roses, against the deep blue wall. The painting is small - perhaps eight inches square. It depicts a small vase, brown pottery or perhaps old brass, stuffed with almost a dozen full-blown roses in shades of pink. On the table beneath the vase lie a few fallen petals.
I bought it years ago in an antique shop - really a flea market - and it is unsigned. I like the frame it came in. I also like the composition - I like the fact that the image is cut off at the top; we are looking at the vase from its own level, and we've lost the overhead. I have no idea who painted it, or how old it is.
The other day I picked a bouquet of roses that were in bloom in my garden. The June bloom is the second flowering of the year, less lush than the first in April and May. The deeper pink rose is a Meilland Romantica named "Comtesse de Provence", and the paler pink flowers are a David Austin rose called "Sharifa Asma."
"Sharifa Asma" has large, quartered flowers in the style of the old roses. And in my garden - at least in our foggy June Gloom - she tends to get a bit of mildew. But the special thing about "Sharifa Asma" is the scent - she is a strongly fragrant rose, with a sharp scent rosarians describe as "myrrh" - likening it to the strong, camphor-like incense of the ancient world.
The blooms I picked were a bit overblown, and just like in the painting, they dropped their petals onto the table.
In Grenoble, France, in 1836, a portrait painter and his Russian-born wife had a baby boy. They moved to Paris when the baby was five. As he grew up, he studied drawing and painting and as an adult he worked in several studios.
Henri Fantin-Latour hung out with Impressionist painters Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet, and an American painter named James Whistler, who was playing around with odd takes on light, shapes, and perspective.
Henri liked to paint small domestic still-lifes - often pictures of flowers in vases, particularly roses. Between 1864 and his death in 1904, he became famous for his lush, loose still-life paintings of flowers, sprawling and abundant, richly detailed and intimate.
You can almost smell the scent as you look at them.