1664 Amsterdam - 1750 Amsterdam
Flower Still Life with Tulips, Poppy, Viburnum, Bindweed and Chrysanthemums
Oil on canvas (relined). 63 x 51 cm.
Signed lower right: Rachel Ruysh.
M. Peterson, Dorset, England. - Auctioned by Waterman, Zurich, 6.11.1976, lot 37. – Private collection, Germany.
Rachel Ruysch was not only one of the few female painters of her day, but also one of the most famous. She was born daughter of an anatomy professor and grand-daughter of the architecht Pieter Post, who among other buildings also designed the Huis ten Bosch. She was taught by the still life painter Willem van Aelst and married the portrait painter Juriaen Pool, with whom she became a court painter for Elector Palatinate Jan Willem, resident in Düsseldorf. Following the death of this regent, the couple returned to Amsterdam, where Rachel Ruysch died at a ripe old age following a long and successful life.
The present still life was painted by the artist in around 1685, but displays the strong contrasts in light and shadow typical of this artist's entire oeuvre. The center of her compositions are generally most brightly lit, and the receeding shadows and more subtle colour towards the outer edges create a feeling of depth and perspective. Several copies of this motif are known to exist, although Fred Meijer of the RKD (The Hague) considers this to be the first version.