This painting can be seen as Bazille's homage to Manet. The flower vendor appears to be a reference
to the black woman with the extravagant bouquet in Manet's infamous Olympia.
The flowers themselves, especially the prominent peonies, also offer a
kind of tribute. Manet cultivated peonies and often painted their lush
Diane Arbus ~ Albino Sword Swallower at a Carnival, ca. 1970
"There's some thrill going to a sideshow - I felt a mix of shame and awe. I mean, there's a sword box where they don't cut the girl in half, they stick a lot of swords in and none of them really go through her and besides they're not sharp and ... it's fun because the girl is almost looney."