Big Perfume

Maker and role
Artist: Rosalyn Schwartz, American, born 1952

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Oil on canvas
66 x 52in (167.6 x 132.1cm)
Credit line
Gift of the artist
Accession number
Object type
Further information
During a trip to Paris in fall 2004, the artist found a book of photographs of Parisian storefronts and became intrigued by an image of a perfume shop window. Big Perfume reinterprets the photograph, using inventive brushwork and dissonant colors, altering the scale and inverting or eliminating aspects of the original composition. Small perfume bottles resemble urns or vases resting on pedestals-turned-arches, and the storefront is transformed into vertical stripes and blurry areas of contrasting colors. The final work appears far from the original photograph, and only Schwartz's title offers a clue to her interpretation's origin. Big Perfume evokes either a sense of elegance or tawdriness, both of which could be associated with French perfume.
Subject period


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