You can understand why Monet was so taken by his garden. Flowers in their variety of  form and vibrant colours are a great source of inspiration, each seems to have a character all of its own. The thing that strikes me about flowers is that it's hard to beat the real thing. I've never seen a more beautiful painting of flowers than a Renoir still life in the Impressionists exhibition at the RSA last year, they seemed alive and moving on the canvas.

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