French artist Edouard Fleury produced still life paintings of the highest skill. These works often looked to the example of the 17th-century Dutch masters, such as Cornelis de Heem (1631-1695).
With a soft diffusion of light and a strong use of vibrant colour, Fleury emphasises the realism of his work. He captures the fuzzy blush of peaches, and the glistening ripeness of strawberries. Grapes spill over the side of baskets, their waxy coats shining pearlescent.
There is unfortunately very little known about the life of Edouard Fleury. He was born in Paris, and it was here that he received a formal artistic education. He would become a pupil of Thomas Couture (1815-1879), a history painter whose attention to detail no doubt rubbed off on his pupil. He also received instruction from Charles Monigot (1825-1900). Monigot had also been taught under Couture, which is perhaps where the connection lies.
Fleury exhibited his works with success at the prestigious Paris Salon. The skill of his sharp and dynamic still life work is recognisable. He did, however, come under the influence of more modern styles of art. Into the 20th century, his works became more impressionistic, with looser brushstrokes. Nonetheless, they lose none of their refined nature.
It is a shame that Edouard Fleury has been shrouded by history. His still lifes, however, are a worthy legacy, and a testament to his skill.
Exhibited at the Paris Salon.