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Blog

Great Art : Rachel Ruysch

18/09/16
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Flowers in a Vase (1685) by Rachel Ruysch
For me this is a wonderful example of her work. Ruysch’s compositions are characterised by strong curves and dramatic lighting: here, light falls on the flowers from bottom left to top right, leaving the closed peonies at the edge in shadow. Against the dark background, her sophisticated palette creates a flawless sense of depth and three-dimensionality. The artist’s father , a celebrated botanist, was head of Amsterdam's botanical garden, so she had a precise knowledge of flowers and insects, shown here by the caterpillars, the ant and the grasshopper in the foreground.