Jean-Michel Picart was born in Antwerp but moved to Paris before 1635 where he set up as a painter and art dealer. He lived in Saint-Germain-des-Prés along with many other of the Flemish artists who emigrated to that city. Picart was interested in collecting and dealing various types of paintings such as Dutch and Flemish landscapes, hunting scenes by Snyders or smaller religious compositions. As a flower painter, he was protected by Henry de Bourbon, bishop of Metz. In 1640, he was elected to the Academy of Saint Luke and in 1651, he became a member of the Royal Academy. Picart received different commissions from the Royal family, and was named as un peintre ordinaire du Roy in several documents. He could compete with such artists as Jacques Linard and Louise Moillon of whom he might have sold the paintings as a dealer. Taking away from the bareness of their compositions, Picart privileged some form of opulence and arrangements of flowers anticipating the art of Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer.
Only a few of Picart's works are dated (one, dated 1653, is mentioned and illustrated in M. Faré, Le grand siècle de la nature morte en France, Le XVIIe siècle, Fribourg, 1974, p. 96). The present painting counts as one of these rare examples. Executed in 1648, the elegance and apparent sophistication of this still life with flowers confirm the talent of the artist and his creative genius.
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