This arrangement was inspired by the painting below: The Daughters of Edward Darley Boit (1882) by John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). I used a tall blue and white vase, white lilies, and an amber apothecary bottle against a dark background to create an interpretation of the painting and what it suggests to me.


I saw the original at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston a few years ago on a cold, snowy day when I had booked a late flight home so that I could wander around the galleries, which I did. But I found myself in front of this painting for a long time because it is very large and, to me, very mysterious. The strangeness of the image draws you in at first (I think people were actually sitting on the floor around it)…then it feels as if you are intruding, that the space on the canvas belongs solely to the little girls in their white pinafores and thick black stockings. Indeed it is a rich, textured world—their world—dark, with moments of brightness, and dense, with only traces of lightness, mainly on the little girls’ cheeks. You are let in, just enough to sense the power and the beauty, but you cannot stay for long….