William Malherbe was known as a painter of genre scenes and still lifes, as well as occasional landscapes, especially during his sojourn in the United States. Born in Selis (Oise), he became a disciple of Renoir and Bonnard. In the course of his career, Malherbe created a synthesis of the two artists in his work combining the energetic brushstrokes of Renoir with the color freedom of Bonnard.
The Museum of Modern Art in Paris conserved a painting by the artist entitled La Lecture. Malherbe was first recognized as a major artist by the distinguished art critic and poet, G. Kahn.
As conveyed in this still-life, there is nothing still or static about this composition despite the fact that it represents a vase of flowers carefully centered in the middle of the canvas. It is primarily due to the energetic brushwork and careful use of color that creates what can only be described as an energy field surrounding as well as a part of the composition of flowers. In this sense this painting partakes of the new world view fostered by the "new physics" that perceives the world not as static objects but an environment that contains the objects and partakes of their energy and disposition.