Still Life: Still Life with Flower by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder

Considered one of the most important Dutch painters of the 17th century, Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder’s work was influential in the development of Dutch Golden Age painting.

Still Life with Flower by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder is an iconic 17th century Dutch still life painting. The painting is oil on canvas and is currently housed in the Hallwyl Museum, Stockholm, Sweden

The painting depicts a bouquet of flowers in a urn, with a butterfly perched beside the vase and one in the floral display. It is a testament to the skill of Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, an important Dutch painter of the Baroque period. He is best known for his still life and flower paintings, which were revolutionary for the time.

Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder – Still-Life with flowers Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

STILL LIFE. Flowers in urn painted by the Dutch artist Ambrosíus Bosschaert (1573-1621). On the edge of the table is the artist’s signature AB and the year 1617. There are around fifty known and preserved works by him, most of them still lifes of flowers or fruit. He was a representative of the early flower painting when the bouquets were depicted symmetrically, containing a variety of flowers from different seasons; not infrequently very rare or valuable.

Hallwyl Museum

Born in Antwerp in 1573, Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder moved to Middelburg in the Netherlands in 1587, in response to religious persecution. He was a member of the Bosschaert family of painters, which included his three sons: Ambrosius the Younger, Johannes, and Abraham. His work was heavily influenced by the Flemish Baroque style of painting, which was popular in the Netherlands at the time. A member of the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke, Bosschaert’s works were highly sought after in his day.

Bosschaert played a significant role in the development of still life and flower paintings known for their bright colors and attention to detail. He was one of the first painters to use a monochromatic backgrounds in his paintings, which helped to make his still life paintings stand out.

Published by Rebecca Budd

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

19 thoughts on “Still Life: Still Life with Flower by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder

    1. Thank you, Resa! I agree – the beauty lives on. What I especially appreciate is that I am able to view the paintings that are located in museums that I will probably never visit. Wikimedia Commons holds a huge selection of paintings and every museum/art gallery is reaching out to the world with their digitization projects. And you are involved in this movement by creating records of mural and street art that inspires us all. It is heartening.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. It is heartening, Rebecca!
        I’m going to have to do something with my street art blog in the future, when I’m done.
        I’m looking into archiving the blog.
        So far it seems like I have to archive 1 post at a time.
        In another year or 2 or 3 that might all have changed.
        However, whatever, I think it should be archived. Hugs!!

        Liked by 2 people

    1. I am thrilled that you enjoyed this painting, Liz. I continue to learn about the importance of still life paintings. I marvel at the skill in which artists capture light, texture, and composition. I am beginning to recognize that still life paintings provide insight into the cultural and historical context of the objects depicted. I find that when I view still life painting, I feel a sense of tranquility and contemplation. These paintings have prompted me to explore still life photography. I believe that we continue to be influenced by paintings created centuries ago.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I am delighted that you enjoyed this painting, Dave. Isn’t it interesting how one painting can send us on a rabbit hole exploration to find out more about the artist and his/her time. One painting adds so much to our knowledge of what it was like to live in a different age. Bosschaert’s influence can be seen in the works of other Dutch still-life painters such as his sons Ambrosius Bosschaert the Younger and Johannes Bosschaert, as well as his contemporaries Jan Davidsz de Heem and Roelandt Savery. My question is – does Bosschaet still have influence in our time? I believe he does.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree wholeheartedly, Robbie. Bosschaet’s attention to detail and skillful use of light and shadow make his paintings stand out among other works of the same genre. I read that his paintings are not only aesthetically pleasing but also serve as a valuable record of the types of flowers that were popular during the 17th century. Many thanks for stopping by, Robbie – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

    1. A very interesting point, Mary Jo!! I did some exploration on the question of whether Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder influenced Rachel Ruysch’s work. It seems yes, which is evident in her still life paintings. Bosschaert’s precise attention to detail and use of vibrant colors can be seen in Rachel Ruysch’s work. I read that she adopted his style of arranging flowers in a symmetrical manner. However, Rachel Ruysch moved forward and developed her own unique style by incorporating more natural elements such as insects and animals into her compositions. Many thanks for adding to my knowledge – very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

You're welcome to join the dialogue!

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: