LOS ANGELES—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. Miraculous Bouquets: Flower and Fruit Paintings by Jan van Huysum (Getty Publications, $9.95, paperback) explores two of his most important still-life paintings, Vase of Flowers and Fruit Piece, both in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
Executed in 1722, the two paintings were among the first works to feature the innovation 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. The arrangements were painstakingly executed over many months and commanded exceptionally high prices from admirers throughout Europe. His inimitable technique resulted in an illusionism that continues to captivate us today.
The sumptuous plates in Miraculous Bouquets reveal the artist’s highly nuanced palette, and his exuberant, asymmetrical arrangements reflect emerging rococo rhythms.
About the Author: 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).
Flower and Fruit Paintings by Jan van Huysum
Anne T. Woollett
J. Paul Getty Museum
48 pages, 4 ¼ x 6 ¼ inches, paperback
24 color illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-090-2, $9.95 [UK £6.99]
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Available at bookstores or through Getty Publications (800-223-3431). Distributed to the trade in the U.S. and Canada by the University of Chicago Press and in the U.K. and Europe by Orca Book Services.