Flowers, either as the single focus of a composition or as elements in larger works, provided Renoir with a perfect subject to explore the subtle effects of color, light and texture. In his still-lifes Renoir could concentrate purely on the coloristic and formal concerns of the composition. He explained his method of working to Albert André, "I just let my brain rest when I paint flowers . . . I establish the tones, I study the values carefully, without worrying about losing the picture (quoted in W. Gaunt, Renoir, Oxford, 1982, p. 32). Renoir strove for the same qualities of spontaneity and naturalness in his still-lifes that he did in his portraits. Working with vigorous brushwork and portraying the flowers in informal arrangements he captures their living character. In Vase de glaïeuls et roses a dynamic coloristic effect is achieved by contrasting the cooler blue tonality of the earthenware vase with the infinite variations of the bouquet. Academic tradition had long held that floral still-lifes were to be carefully arranged with an eye to achieving balanced harmonies but Renoir's compositions represent a radical break with this notion. As he explained, "When I have arranged a bouquet in order to paint it, I look at it from every angle and remain standing at the side I had not thought of" (quoted in G. Adriani, Renoir, London, 1999, exh. cat., p. 274).