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Tree Trunk surrounded by Flowers, Butterflies and Animals

Tree Trunk surrounded by Flowers, Butterflies and Animals

Rachel Ruysch (in 1685)

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  • Hermann-Josef Birk asked

    Has this painting no signature?
    Rachel painted this painting in the age of 21, what was the reason for this work, painted for the market, did she get an order, was she still in apprenticeship?

  • Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen answered

    Dear Hermann-Josef, The painting is dated and signed on the bottom right. Ruysch was trained by Willem van Aalst from 1679. Little is known about the provenance of this painting, so we don't know why she painted it. Best, Daphne

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More information

This painting by Rachel Ruysch seems to depict a scene of unspoilt nature, but it actually mainly shows cultivated flowers. Floral still life usually symbolises the transience of life, and with that its vanity (vanitas), but this painting also reflects a great interest in and love for the variety in nature by the artist. Ruysch spends a lot of attention to the animals such as the flying stag beetle, butterfly and snail.

The fairly large size shows how the artist capitalises on the growing interest at the time for large, decorative paintings. Remarkable is the fact that, at the time, this painting brought in more money than Rembrandt’s work did.

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Collection book

Collection book Order

Specifications

Title Tree Trunk surrounded by Flowers, Butterflies and Animals
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 82 cm
Height 99 cm
Artists Schilder: Rachel Ruysch
Accession number 1751 (OK)
Credits Aankoop / Purchase: 1854
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1854
Age artist About 21 years old
Internal exhibitions De collectie als tijdmachine (2017)
Material
Object
Geographical origin Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Rachel Ruysch

Den Haag 1664 - Amsterdam 1750

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