We do not know what was behind Delacroix's original decision to present five flower paintings at the Salon of 1849. In the end, however, he exhibited only two, keeping a more sizable shipment for the Exposition Universelle of 1855. Undoubtedly, he was predisposed to paint flowers by a passion for flower gardens and gardening, which he shared with his acquaintance George Sand and his great friend Josephine de Forget--in whose company the artist "prowled around rose bushes." Vincent Pomarède, from Delacroix: The Late Work (1998), p. 127.
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