Bunker made this picture after returning to Boston from a summer spent in England painting with John Singer Sargent. Sargent and Bunker had been experimenting with Impressionism, and under the influence of Claude Monet, they worked outdoors and used a bright palette applied in broken brushstrokes. Bunker struggled at first and complained to Mrs. Gardner that he had “ruins of numerous works, for I’ve not been idle,” but he continued with the style. Bunker adopted elements of Impressionism in this painting of blooming flowers in the greenhouse at Green Hill, the Gardners’ summer residence in Brookline.
Source: Richard Lingner, "Chrysanthemums," in Eye of the Beholder, edited by Alan Chong et al. (Boston: ISGM and Beacon Press, 2003): 209