"Flowers in a Crystal Vase" was painted by the French artist, Edouard Manet, in 1883 during the last months of his life. During his last days he took great pleasure in painting floral still lifes that were mostly the floral bouquets given to him by his visitors.
He was one of the key artists of the period who encouraged a painting style change from Realism to Impressionism within the art world. Detailed realism was the style engrained in the French art school's teaching method as the only way to paint in the nineteenth century. He was considered pivotal in this transitional period from painting in realism to an impressionist style.
The roughly painted style and photographic lighting in his works was seen as specifically modern, and as a challenge to the Renaissance works Manet copied or used as source material. His work is considered 'early modern', partially because of the black outlining of figures, which draws attention to the surface of the picture plane and the material quality of paint.
As he was drawn into the group of Impressionist painters, he was influenced by them and it can be seen in his paintings. Their influence is seen in Manet's use of lighter colours, but he retained his distinctive use of black, uncharacteristic of Impressionist painting. He painted many outdoor (plein air) pieces, but always returned to what he considered the serious work of the studio.