Bouquet of flowers




Bouquet of flowers

Date of Production



graphite, pen and brown and black ink, watercolour and bodycolour, some areas with added gum arabic (now flaked off in areas and exhibiting craquelure), on paper cut into an oval, laid down


Height: 45.3 cm
Width: 38.1 cm

Accession Number


Mode of Acquisition

Robert Clermont Witt, bequest, 1952


The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust)


Not currently on display


Label Text

Mary Moser's expertise in flower painting draws attention to the fact that this branch of still life was considered a suitable artistic activity for women. It was not thought to require intellectual effort and was regarded as ideally compatible with female sensibilities. Contemporary drawing manuals taught women how to observe and record nature in a particular way. This careful arrangement of individually studied flowers, set-off against a sky-blue background, conforms to teaching methods which equated female vision with decorative and pretty effects.


anonymous sale, Christie's (London), 27 October 1950, lot 103; purchased there by Colnaghi (London) on behalf of Sir Robert Witt, London (1872-1952) (£25.4); Witt Bequest 1952

Exhibition History

Outgrowing: Flowers and female artists, 1700 to now, Leamington Spa Art Gallery and Museum, 28/01/2022-24/04/2022

Second Nature, The Courtauld Gallery, London, 14/06/2000-03/09/2000


Blunt, Anthony, Hand-list of the drawings in the Witt Collection, London, 1956
p. 35

Zweig, Marianne, 'Mary Moser' in 'The Connoisseur Year Book', 1956 - pp. 104-10
fig. 8 on p. 108


Watermark: Watermark: unable to see as is laid down and covered in thick media.

Inscription: Recto: lower right edge, brush and brown wash, signed and dated by the artist: "M. Moser 1780".

Collector's mark: none.

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