The Dutch national passion for flowers is reflected in a strong tradition of floral paintings, a specialty that reached its peak during the eighteenth century in the work of Jan van Huysum. In this dazzling example of the artist's technical brilliance and mastery of design, each flower precisely...
The Dutch national passion for flowers is reflected in a strong tradition of floral paintings, a specialty that reached its peak during the eighteenth century in the work of Jan van Huysum. In this dazzling example of the artist's technical brilliance and mastery of design, each flower precisely records a living specimen, including the rare and prized hybrid striped tulip. In spite of its vivid realism, however, we know the arrangement is an imaginary one, because it combines flowers that bloom at different times of the year. The artist composed the painting using individual studies made earlier from flowers in season.
Lower right, on marble slab: Jan Van Husym fecit
Probably by 1836 until 1867, Barons of Schönborn, Schloss Weissenstein, Pommersfelden, Germany [see note 1]; May 17, 1867, Schönborn sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, lot 62, to the Comte de L'Epine for 15, 200 fr.; April 15, 1868, L'Epine sale, Hotel Drouot, Paris, lot 33, to Christianus Johannes Nieuwenhuys (b. 1799 - d. 1883), Amsterdam and London, for 10,100 fr. By 1877, Paul Pavlovich Demidoff, 2nd Prince of San Donato (b. 1839 - d. 1885), Florence; March 15 - April 10, 1880, Demidoff sale, San Donato Palace, lot 1101, to Stanton Blake (b. 1837 - d. 1889), Boston; 1889, purchased under the will of Stanton Blake by the MFA. (Accession Date: December 24, 1889) NOTES:  In the auction catalogue of May 17, 1867, this painting is said to have been noted in the Schönborn catalogues of 1719 and 1746, and to have been no. 302 in the catalogue of 1857. However, the painting's date of about 1732-1736 would make its inclusion in a 1719 inventory impossible. Moreover, the 1719 inventory of Lothar Franz von Schönborn (b. 1655 - d. 1729), the only one of the three above-mentioned catalogues to be published, does not include any paintings by Jan van Huysum. The painting was probably at Pommersfelden by 1836, as a letter from Jakob Felsing to Franz Erwein von Schönborn (January 17, 1836) indicates; he mentions seeing Van Huysum paintings on his recent trip to view the collection. For more information on the Schönborn collection and the inventories, see Katharina Bott, " 'La mia galleria Pommersfeldiana': Die Geschichte der Gemäldesammlung des Lothar Franz von Schönborn," in Die Grafen von Schönborn: Kirchenfürsten, Sammler, Mäzene (Nürnberg, 1989), 112-128. On the 1719 inventory, see ibid., Rudolf Bys: Fürtrefflicher Gemähld- und Bilder-Schatz (Weimar, 1997) and on the 1836 letter, ibid., Ein deutscher Kunstsammler zu Beginn des 19. Jahrhunderts: Franz Erwein von Schönborn (1776-1840) (Alfter, 1993), p. 31, doc. no. 71.
Bequest of Stanton Blake