Basket with flowers and butterfly. Circa 1881.

Watercolor on paper. Measurements: 17 x 13.5 cm / 6,7 x 5.31 cm. Framed artwork. On the back is the label of the brand house “Miroiterie Dorure Encadrements” from Versailles, France. A second label from the Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina certifies their participation in the exhibition "Sívori and Fortuny Images of Memory".

A wicker basket contains a varied set of flowers and a butterfly perches on one of them. With free brushstrokes, the use of stains and the color blue to give shadows reflects the impressionist inspiration that the young painter -and future great master of Argentine painting- was absorbing in Paris. However, he later decided to abandon this new current, developing a more naturalistic and realistic technique and aesthetic. The mastery of color stands out in this watercolor, applied without transparencies as in the early work.

Eduardo Sívori returned from a first trip to Europe, in 1874 and together with his brother Alejandro, Eduardo Schiaffino and other artists promoted the creation of the Sociedad Estímulo de Bellas Artes that began in 1876. It was here that he advanced in his technical training, but in 1883 he settled in Paris determined to incorporate new knowledge into the epicenter of Western art.

We understand that this watercolor belongs to his formative period. In the Mario Canale archive (Fundación Espigas) there are five notebooks by Eduardo Sívori with watercolors of a similar nature. The shapes, his signature and his size lead to the inclusion of his Basket with Flowers and Butterfly at this stage of his career (1).

Eduardo Sívori (Buenos Aires, 1847 - 1918) was an Argentine painter, one of the capital figures of national visual arts. A man of fortune, he was able to devote all of his time and energy to art. He studied at the Sociedad Estímulo de Bellas Artes with Cartón, Aguyari and Romero and in Paris with Jean Paul Laurens, Collin, Hannoteau and Pubis de Chavannes. His painting "The Awakening of the Maid" is one of the great masterpieces treasured by our National Museum of Fine Arts.


1. Roberto Amigo and María Isabel Baldasarre: Teachers and disciples. Argentine art from the Mario A. Canale Archive. Buenos Aires, Spikes Foundation, 2006.

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