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Flowers in a Vase (Paris)

Jaan Grünberg Flowers in a Vase (Paris) 1938 monotype, paper 21.5 × 20.5 cm

Jaan Grünberg’s favourite genre was landscape. His still-lifes are less well known. He was an active creator of artwork but many of his pre-war works remained abroad (he lived abroad for most of the 1930’s, after all). In the autobiography that Grünberg wrote with his own hand in 1936, he also admits that most of the works he completed during the first period he spent in Paris are in private Parisian collections. Thus this painting is one of the few examples in Estonia of the high point of Jaan Grünberg’s creative work.

Grünberg’s usage of colour became expressive and dark after 1935, replaced once again by lighter tones and a more tranquil and impressionist style in Paris (including 1938). On the occasion of an exhibition of six artists held in 1939, which was probably the most important exposition of Grünberg’s work in his Estonian homeland, Armin Tuulse wrote in the Postimees newspaper: "/.../ and works become visions of colour to an even greater extent, where the object-oriented part is reduced to a minimum. An instinctive and momentary painting technique related to the impressionists prevails.”