Tulips, roses and narcissi in bloom, and many other species too. Flowers feature prominently in the art of many cultures. Yet they did not become an independent subject of Dutch and Flemish painting until the seventeenth century. From 1600 to 1725, this genre was in full bloom in the Low Countries. Paintings of nothing but a bunch of beautiful blooms soon became hugely popular: the more lifelike and precise the rendering of each individual flower, the more attractive the painting. Such artists as Jan Brueghel, Ambrosius Bosschaert, Jan Davidsz de Heem and Rachel Ruysch created gorgeous bouquets with a wide variety of flowers, each and every one painted from life. The most popular were rare and exotic species, such as the tulip from Asia, which had first bloomed in the Low Countries at the end of the sixteenth century. What prompted this sudden interest in flower still lifes? And why were there so many women among the artists who caused a furore in this genre?
23 x 28 cm