Born in Paris, Dubourg trained under Fanny Chéron, copying Old Master paintings in the Louvre. In 1860, she met and befriended Manet, who would have a monumental influence on her career. In 1866, she met Henri Fantin-Latour, and the two married in ten years later. They often collaborated on floral paintings-for which she is particularly known-though works signed V. Dubourg are completely her own. Her painting A Basket of Flowers was included in the 1905 book Women Painters of the World. She belonged to the circle of Manet, Morisot, and Degas, the latter of whom painted her portrait in 1868-69 (which now sits in the Toledo Museum of Art).
Nature Morte avec Fleurs is classic Dubourg: a sumptuous floral still life painted against a scumbled tan background, it is the type of work for which she is best known. After exhibiting two portraits at the Salons of 1869 and 1870, she showed only still lifes of fruit and flowers. Many of her most fully-executed works, of which this is a fine example, date between 1890 and 1910. The wife of renowned painter Henri Fantin-Latour, Dubourg was one of the first women in history to have a successful artistic career independent of-yet in collaboration with-her acclaimed male counterpart. From her husband, she derived a simplicity of composition, an absence of detail, and a tendency toward luminous neutral backgrounds. Focusing on the effects and contrasts of light and shade more so than the accuracy of minute details, she painted harmonious floral compositions that are considered by some to be even more sophisticated than her husband's. This Nature Morte comes from the private collection of Adele and Irving Moskovitz, two former New York collectors who supported the arts in every aspect and were particular patrons of music and the visual arts. Fitting, considering this work's former owners, is the fact that Dubourg herself was musically inclined, and well known for her aptitude as a pianist.
Collection of Adele and Irving Moskovitz, New York, NY