Nicolaes van Verendael (or Veerendael) was born in Antwerp in 1640, training under his father, Willem van Veerendael, before joining the Antwerp Guild of Saint Luke in 1657. Highly regarded in his own lifetime, he collaborated with other leading Antwerp masters such as David Teniers the Younger and Jan Davidsz. de Heem, and through pupils such as Jean-Baptiste Morel, had a profound impact on eighteenth-century Flemish flower painting. Famed for his closely studied effects of light - displayed here in the water droplets on the ledge, and in the two reflections of the painter's studio window in the glass vase -, the verisimilitude of his flowers is equally striking, and indeed according to the eighteenth-century biographer Jacob Campo Weyerman, it sometimes took him four(!) days to finish a single flower (see De levens-beschryvingen der Nederlandsche konst-schilders en konst-schilderessen
, vol. III, 1729, pp. 234-5).
As the present work is painted on a large copper plate this contributes to its delicately polished and stylized quality. Based on stylistic comparisons, we see a debt to previous Antwerp masters such as Daniel Seghers (1590-1661) and Jan Breughel the Elder (1563-1625) in the controlled palette and composition. Van Veerendael's bouquets from the 1670s and 1680s are more informal, and insects and vanitas elements are sometimes included.
Celebrated during his lifetime as a painter of still lifes in vases, garlands and swags, Nicolaes van Veerendael achieved early renown and collaborated with other illustrious painters such as David Teniers II, Carstian Luyckx, Gonzales Coques, and Jan Davidsz. de Heem. The bold contrasting colors (frequently featuring pinks and reds in the same composition), expert use of whites and careful attention to the play of light for which Veerendael was renowned are all evident in the present vibrant and sumptuous composition, which dates to the artist's full mature period of the early 1680s.
Dr. Fred Meijer has kindly confirmed the attribution on the basis of photographs.