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O'Conor grew up in Dublin, where he went to the Metropolitan School of Art. By 1888 he had moved to Paris, and was associated with the American painters also studying there. Like them he visited Grez-sur-Loing to paint, and later went to Brittany for several summers.

This still life is indebted to the intense colouring of Monet's later landscapes. Each area of the subject is painted as a pairing of separate colours. Very few such early paintings of O'Conor's are known. Most are landscape, with a few still lifes, of which this is the most extreme in palette.

September 2004