59
59
Rachel Ruysch
STILL LIFE OF FLOWERS WITH A NOSEGAY OF ROSES, MARIGOLDS, LARKSPUR, A BUMBLEBEE AND OTHER INSECTS
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 610,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
59
Rachel Ruysch
STILL LIFE OF FLOWERS WITH A NOSEGAY OF ROSES, MARIGOLDS, LARKSPUR, A BUMBLEBEE AND OTHER INSECTS
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 610,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

The Weldon Collection

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New York

Rachel Ruysch
THE HAGUE 1664 - 1750 AMSTERDAM
STILL LIFE OF FLOWERS WITH A NOSEGAY OF ROSES, MARIGOLDS, LARKSPUR, A BUMBLEBEE AND OTHER INSECTS
signed and dated on the ledge, lower right: Rachel Ruysch / 1695
oil on canvas
12 5/8  by 10 1/8  in.; 32 by 25.8 cm.
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Provenance

Collection of H.R.H. Princess Arthur of Connaught (1891-1959), Duchess of Fife, London (her label affixed to the reverse);
Private collection, UK, 1959-1985;
Anonymous sale, "Poperty of a Lady of Title," London, Sotheby's, 3 April 1985, lot 70;
David Koetser, 1993.


Exhibited

Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace, International Arts and Antiques, 1988, no. 93;
Birmingham 1995, no. 18;
New Orleans 1997, no. 46;
Baltimore 1999, no. 45.

Literature

C. Grimm, Stilleben: die niederländischen und deutschen Meister, Stuttgart 1988, p. 112;
C.W. Aigner, Stilleben, vol. VIII, Linz 1992, p. 59;
J. Mitchell and Son Ltd., Pick of the Bunch from the Fitzwilliam Museum, London 1993, p. 36, reproduced fig. 6;
Alabama Art Monthly, 2, September 1995, p. 8, reproduced;
M. Berardi, Science into Art: Rachel Ruysch's early development as a still-life painter, PhD thesis, University of Pittsburgh 1998, p. 359, note 616;
Baltimore 1999, pp. 104-106, cat. no. 45, reproduced p. 105.

Catalogue Note

Rachel Ruysch, widely regarded as one of the most successful still-life artists of the Dutch Golden Age, was the first female Netherlandish artist to win international recognition. Born in Amsterdam in 1664, Ruysch began training with the still-life painter Willem van Aelst (circa 1626 - 1683) age fifteen and continued to paint well into her eighties.

The abundant nosegay of roses, marigolds, and larkspur sits delicately on a ledge. The dark backdrop and shaded outer flowers heighten the beauty of the illuminated central buds. A plump pink rosebud, a nest of soft petals, sits amongst deeply veined leaves and thorny stems. No fewer than twelve creatures including a bumble bee, dragonfly, and moth, its wings milky white, roam the terrain of the nosegay. The meticulously rendered ecosystem bursts out of the frame with life. 

Ruysch frequently employed the nosegay, or posy motif, a testament to her teacher, van Aelst, who pioneered this type of composition. As her career progressed, Ruysch developed a more distinctive aesthetic, favoring an increasingly lighter color palette and more decorative style. Her intimate knowledge of the minute creatures seen in this composition is symptomatic of both the culture in which she lived and her particular upbringing. The recent invention of the microscope engendered increased curiosity in naturalia amongst artists and scientists alike.  Moreover, her father, Frederick Ruysch, was a celebrated professor of botany and anatomy, his wunderkammern a popular destination for visiting dignitaries. Access to such curiosity cabinets of preserved specimens as well as her father’s scientific publications would have enabled careful examination of insects and moths which Ruysch executes with scientific precision in paintings such as this one. 

The Weldon Collection

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New York