Still Life with fruit
Jan van Huysum’s lasting fame centers on his exuberant arrangements and technical virtuosity. More than any other artist before or after, he was able to capture the dynamic energy of a profuse array of flowers and fruit. In this superb and large example, the bouquet fills the entire panel. Flowers overflowing their terra-cotta vase and peaches and grapes spilling over the foreground ledge create a sense of opulent abundance. Woven in and out of the densely packed bouquet of peonies, roses, carnations, and auriculae are the rhythmically flowing stems and blossoms of tulips, veronica, tuberoses, and hops. The artist masterfully integrated insects into his bouquet and suggested the translucence of dewdrops on petals and leaves. He often illuminated blossoms situated at the back of his bouquets and silhouetted darker foreground leaves and tendrils against them.