The delicate clarity of the carnation blossoms and jewel like grapes elegantly contrasts with the prismatic reflections of the glass vase. Rather than providing a clear view of the flower stems within, the glass vase and fresh water create an illusionistic environment in which everyday objects are transformed into a kaleidoscopic vision. Henri Fantin-Latour, who also produced masterful portraits and imaginative, dream-inspired works, is best known for his still-life paintings. He disapproved of the increasingly popular plein-air painting championed by the impressionists, favoring instead the controlled, predictable environment of his studio. Most of his floral still lifes from the late 1870s onward are based on studies made in Buré, in northern France, where he and his wife spent their summers.