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Marsden Hartley was an American painter whose oeuvre was shaped in response to modernist trends in European art. In 1912 he traveled to Paris, Munich, and Berlin to study...He developed a style based on German Expressionism, which he synthesized into an individual visual vocabulary. Early in his career, Hartley began to paint still lives influenced by Pablo Picasso and Paul Cézanne; this genre would preoccupy him throughout his career...The influence of the Expressionists is evident in this painting. Hartley turns a simple subject--a pot of calla lilies with a broken leaf--into a somewhat sinister plant, its leaves undulating like flames and setting everything into motion, as if on fire.
from Snite Museum of Art, Selected Works: Snite Museum of Art (Notre Dame, 2005)