This early work reveals Monet’s fascination with capturing the transitory effects that became the primary focus of his later innovations. Painted with almost scientific accuracy, this still life has a freshness and immediacy derived partly from its composition. Isolated against a dark background, the fully mature peonies, potted hydrangeas, and basketed lilacs spill downward and outward from the geraniums at the rear. At the same time, Monet’s energetic brushwork conveys the sparkling play of light on leaves and petals.
(Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art).