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A Bowl of Flowers

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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This signed painting is the only known work by Marie Blancour, a French woman who is thought to have lived during the seventeenth century.

A bunch of flowers is crammed into a terracotta pot. Many are in the final stages of bloom: the daffodil’s yellow petals are fully open and the weighty white viburnum heads droop at the bottom left. Our eye is led deeper into the picture by the large red poppy head facing away from us and the viburnum head at the lower left, which is partly in shadow to suggest that it’s further away than the one in the light. Red and white tulips were popular during the seventeenth century and found in the work of Dutch and Flemish artists, which Blancour must surely have seen.

Not all of these flowers bloom at the same time, so Blancour worked from individual studies made throughout the year in order to create this fictional arrangement.

The National Gallery, London



A Bowl of Flowers




Oil on canvas


H 65.5 x W 51.4 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Capt. E.G. Spencer-Churchill, 1964

Work type



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Normally on display at

The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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