This painting depicts a glass vase with roses, phlox, and other flowers standing on a table. One pink rose lies next to the vase on the table; the background is an undifferentiated background of brown/tan.
Although Fantin-Latour exhibited with the Impressionists, his work is not truly Impressionist in style, but grounded in study of the Old Masters and work in the studio. His still lifes have an almost palpable atmosphere and sense of light. Here, the brilliantly lit flowers stand out against the background, giving them great definition and mass. The classical balance and grandeur of the composition, beauty of coloration, and details of observation elevate Fantin-Latour's still life paintings beyond the ordinary.
Signed in plate, l.r.: Célestin Nanteuil Dated in plate, u.r.: Jacintha/Rome 1866 Letters in margin, l.l.: Célestin Nanteuil, del. et sculp. ; l.c.: JACINTHA ; l.r.: A. CADART, Edit. Imp. Rue Nve des Mathurins, 58, Paris. ; u.r.: 3.
Groups of figures, mostly men, are seated in an interior gathered around tables. In most cases they lean against the tables, principally the table at the back of the room that is parallel to the picture plane, looking away from the viewer. The exception is the man at the center of the composition who is leaning on the table wearing a cap and coat who looks at the viewer as he raises his right hand towards his face. At the right are seated a woman and baby,
In keeping with Whistler's interests in the docks and establishments along the Thames in London, this scene of men and the woman and child at the right gave the artist the opportunity to explore working class labor in London, recalling some of the character studies the Rembrandt executed in the neighborhoods of Amsterdam.