With Pieter de Boer, Amsterdam, 1938;
Private Collection, Oxfordshire, by 1971 (according to records at the Courtauld Institute, London);
With David Koetser, Zurich, 1994;
From whom acquired by the present owner.
This lovely and delicate vase of flowers by Maria van Oosterwijck is characteristic of the artist's meticulous and finely rendered still life compositions. Here, delicately veined, papery leaves are juxtaposed with heavy, velvety blossoms. The lace-like wings of the butterfly are subtly rendered and the intricate, inverted reflection of the lead-paned window in the body of the glass vase gives the whole an incredibly life-like appearance. Immediately to the left of the large, pink rose at the center of the bouquet, almost hidden at the back of the arrangement, is a sunflower. A favorite of the artist, she frequently included sunflowers in her floral arrangements, almost like an emblem or second signature.
The daughter of a clergyman, Maria van Oosterwijck is thought to have studied with Jan Davidsz. de Heem and her compositions certainly betray his influence. Oosterwijck never married, although Houbraken claimed that she was courted by her fellow artist Willem van Aelst. Her paintings were much admired by her contemporaries and she received considerable patronage from various European monarchs including Louis XIV, Emperor Leopold I and Stadholder-King William III.
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