As a young man, Redon was fascinated with Darwinian biology and enjoyed a close friendship with Armand Clavaud, the curator of the botanical gardens in his hometown of Bordeaux. In late floral still lifes such as this one, the artist demonstrated a naturalist’s sense of wonder as well as a richly inventive imagination, combining many different types of blooms and foliage in an effervescent display, attended by fluttering butterflies. The vase, which appears in a number of Redon's flower pictures, was made and presented to him by the ceramicist Marie Botkin around 1900.
Inscription: Signed (lower center): ODILON REDON
[Jacques Seligmann, Paris; shipped to New York]; [Jacques Seligmann, New York, until 1932; sold October 18, as "Fleurs dans un vase bleu" to Post]; Mr. and Mrs. George B. Post, New York (1932–his d. 1952); Mrs. George B. Post (Olivia Dulany), New York (1952–56)
Klaus Berger. Odilon Redon: Fantasy and Colour. New York, 1965, p. 215, no. 454, includes it in a list of "Flower-Pieces, II, Objective Portrayal of Space, 1900–04/05", calling it "Patterned Vase with Anemones (vase 9)"; dates it about 1905.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 3, XIX–XX Centuries. New York, 1967, p. 9, ill., date it about 1905; remark that the vase belongs to Redon's son, Ari.
Alec Wildenstein. Odilon Redon: Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint et dessiné. Vol. 3, Fleurs et paysages. Paris, 1996, unpaginated insert between pp. 8–9, p. 120, no. 1535, ill. pp. 120, 121 (color), notes that the same form of decorated vase appeared in ten other floral still lifes and that, according to the Mellerio Redon Papers (Ryerson and Burnham Libraries, Art Institute of Chicago), the vase was made by Marie Botkin, a ceramicist friend of Redon's, and presented to the artist around 1900.