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Miraculous Bouquets: Flower and Fruit Paintings by Jan van Huysum

  • Anne T. Woollett

    Precisely rendered to dazzle the eye with their botanical accuracy, the sumptuous arrays of fruit and flowers by Dutch painter Jan van Huysum (1682–1749) were among the most avidly collected paintings of the eighteenth century. The arrangements were painstakingly executed over many months and commanded exceptionally high prices from admirers throughout Europe.

    This delightful book explores two of Van Huysum's most important still-life paintings, Vase of Flowersand Fruit Piece, both in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum. Executed in 1722, they are among the first works to feature the innovations Van Huysum introduced to a beloved Dutch tradition. Like his seventeenth-century predecessors, Van Huysum combined flowers and fruits that flourished at different times of the year into a single bouquet. He worked directly from nature rather than from sketchbooks and animated the arrangements with crawling insects and butterflies. His inimitable technique resulted in an illusionism that continues to captivate us today. The book's sumptuous plates reveal the artist's highly nuanced palette, and his exuberant, asymmetrical arrangements reflect emerging rococo rhythms.

    Anne T. Woollett is curator in the Department of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She is the author of Rembrandt in Southern California (Getty Publications, 2009), and coauthor of Looking at Paintings: A Guide to Technical Terms (Getty Publications, 2009) and Drama and Devotion: Heemskerck's Ecce Homo Altarpiece from Warsaw(Getty Publications, 2012). 

    48 pages
    4 1/4" x 6 1/4"
    24 color illustrations
    ISBN 978-1-60606-090-2

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum