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La Farge anthority James Yarnall believes this work is a study for the artist's larger representation of a single magnolia in a bowl, reliably assigned a dating of 1863 (Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, Massachusetts) which it closely resembles. La Farge was elected an Academician on May 12, 1869, and made his diploma presentation within a month. Although the study of the single magnolia was probably six years "out of date," by the time of his election to Academician, it would have had credence as a representative example of his work, as La Farge had first gained favorable recognition with his elegant studies of flowers.

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