Flower still life painters like Veerendael often depicted flowers that bloom at different times of year, creating imaginative bouquets like this one. The choice of flowers and insects are likely significant: the iris is associated with the Virgin Mary, poppies signify death or sleep, and carnations refer to Christ's passion. The beetle may be an omen of evil while the butterfly, which is reborn after entering a cocoon, symbolizes resurrection. Taken together the flowers and insects in the present painting suggest a Christian message of salvation from death and evil.
This canvas appears to be unlined. The paint surface is stable with slight frame abrasions visible on both the left and right edges of the painting. A thin diagonal scratch or scuff is visible to the naked eye at the center left edge near the butterfly. The varnish has darkened throughout but the paint is in generally good condition. Under UV inspection, the varnish appears milky. Old retouching is visible along the left and right edges in response to frame abrasion, as well as a small spot of repair underneath the tallest central flower and another small area near the top left corner in the background. No retouching is visible in the center of the bouquet. The painting would likely appear brighter with cleaning and a new varnish. Offered in a decoratively carved gilt wood frame. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.