Still Life: Flowers in a Glass Vase with a Cricket in a Niche by Rachel Ruysch

Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750) is one of the most celebrated artists of the Dutch Golden Age. Her still-life paintings are renowned for both their technical skill and their impressive creativity. In her works, she often depicted a variety of flowers in stunning arrangements. She had a marvelous ability to capture the beauty of each flower in its vivid colors, as well as its delicate details. Her use of light and shadow add an extra level of realism to her works, making them some of the most beautiful and lifelike paintings of the era.

Flowers in a Glass Vase, with a Cricket in a Niche (1700) by Rachel Ruysch, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Why is there a cricket in the painting?

It is believed that the cricket in Rachel Ruysch’s painting, Vase with Flowers, painted in 1700, is a symbol of renewal and growth.

Rachel Ruysch, as a still life painter, helped to develop the genre. As the daughter of a botanist, she studied flowers and plants her entire life. She was known for her lifelike and detailed paintings of flowers and plants, which often featured vivid colors and striking compositions.

Rachel Ruysch was highly influential in Dutch art during the 18th century, and her work was so highly sought after that she became one of the most successful female artists of her time.

In 1693, Rachel Ruysch married the Amsterdam portrait painter, Juriaen Pool. These two artists had a long and successful marriage. Their ten children were a testament to their strong bond. After her marriage, Rachel continued working as a painter, even though it was expected of women of the time to be engaged in activities such as sewing and spinning.

Rachel Ruysch died in 1750, at the age of 86. From the age of 15 until she was 83, she produced hundreds of paintings, of which more that 250 have been documented and attributed to her. Even so, Rachel Ruysch’s story has been lost in the folds of history.

To learn more about Rachel Ruysch, I invite to view this excellent video from The National Gallery!

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

27 thoughts on “Still Life: Flowers in a Glass Vase with a Cricket in a Niche by Rachel Ruysch

  1. Thank you for introducing this artist, new to me! Thank you, too, for including her words-video that I enjoyed very much. When I was enjoying her voice and her choice of words, I had no doubt of her ability, not only as an artist, but also as a lecturer. I found it interesting that she was compared and mentioned as an equal to the “greats” of history! Rachael Ruysch along with Rembrandt, Monet and others!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Yet another woman who was somehow allowed to be a person when we were considered more like chattel.
    Her work is magnificent. Although she is largely forgotten in art history, she may now come into some light.
    Thank you for this, Rebecca!

    Also, just to let you know, I enjoy all the videos that you post about the artists, etc.!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoy the videos, Resa. Museums, art galleries, libraries and archives are knocking on our door and entering our homes via technology. The idea or knowledge and for all is a powerful force for good. Hugs and more hugs.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Agree! I’m going to be doing a post on Anne Bolyen. The videos are too, long. There is 1 – 11 minute one.
        Now you’ve got me wondering where that one main painting of her resides?
        Ta! Going to research that!

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Before watching the video, Rebecca, I pulled up quite a few of Rachel Ruysch’s paintings on-line. I quickly noticed the incredible detail of her work, moreover the little insects and caterpillars so delicately woven into the mix! What a delight that was. This reminded me of another wonderful artist; Jan Davidsz. de Heem who painted in the 17th century. He was also a major still life painter who added little insects, etc., to his wonderful works. I have a fridge magnet of one of his works – Still life with flowers in a vase / 1665-70 – Oil on copper.
    Extraordinary work created by both, and so many of that era! And to think that Rachel Ruysch (as a woman) also mothered ten children as well as having created hundreds of paintings sought after by those in high places!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you for the introduction to Jan Davidsz. De Heem!!! I found his painting
      “A Richly Laid Table with Parrots.” Brilliant in detail.

      I am having so much fun looking back into art, one painting at a time. Thank you for adding to my knowledge, Carolyn. Isn’t it fun to uncover and discover stories held safe in the folds of history.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. “Isn’t it fun to uncover and discover stories held safe in the folds of history.” Yes, yes, yes!
        I have just discovered a new experience awaiting us – soon! Claude Monet & Friends (similar in presentation to the Van Gogh Alive Exhibition we saw recently) is coming to Sydney.
        Oh, be still my beating heart…

        Liked by 2 people

      2. You are so so so very lucky, Carolyn. Looking forward to hearing all about this exhibition. My heart has picked up speed just thinking about how wonderful this event will be.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted you enjoyed this look back into history, Liz. Why do we recognize specific painters. Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Monet, Da Vinci? These names are well known. Their art was incredible, but so was Rachel Ruysch’s paintings. Why do we not know about her paintings. Here’s a thought. We know painters because we know their stories. The more we know about the artist, the more we understand his/her artwork. Consider Vermeer! We have a new appreciation of his work because of the movie, Girl with a Pearl Earring. I continue to learn, Liz – it is so much fun to look back at art, one painting at a time.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. That was my thought too, Liz. There is so much that we do not know about women’s history. Rachel Ruych’s accomplishments were legendary.

        Written history has appointed men as the dominant gender, and as such, their accomplishments and contributions to society have been more widely recognized and celebrated than those of women. Women were often not allowed to participate in the same activities as men, or that their contributions were not seen as important or valuable.

        We stand on the shoulders and apron’s of amazing women who have gone before us and have led the way. Women are increasingly becoming more prominent in today’s society. From the workplace to politics, women are making strides in many different areas and are beginning to take on more powerful roles. This shift in the power dynamic is bringing about a new era of female ascendency, where women are being given more opportunities and recognition for their accomplishments.

        Going back to the idea of stories. We must tell our stories whether in written, spoken, art, dance, science, philosophy and the list goes on….

        Many thanks for a great conversation.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for your support, appreciation and encouragement of these posts, Mary Jo. I love looking back at art, one painting at a time. Art Galleries and Museums are using virtual means to connect with a wider audience. They are opening their doors to the world, featuring art from both the past and present. It is exciting to know that art belongs to everyone.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Thank you, Rebecca, for all the information about another female artist who should be better known. The “Flowers in a Glass Vase, with a Cricket in a Niche” painting is stunningly gorgeous.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I am delighted you enjoyed this post, Dave! Here is my confession. In early December, I read an article that included a questionnaire about women painters asking me to chose their style and genre from 4 possibilities. I knew of two of approximately 10 names mentioned and failed every question on style. This year, I decided that I needed to explore these amazing women. Who know that she brought in more money than Rembrandt? I certainly didn’t.

      Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you, Cindy. I am delighted that you enjoyed this post and met up with Rachel Ruysch, who was extraordinary. Can you imagine raising 10 childen while being a famous, sought-after during her lifetime. It is unfortunate Rachel Ruysch is unknown to many in our time.

      Liked by 4 people

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