About this artwork

This extravagant bouquet is made up of flowers from different seasons including different varieties of tulips and roses, and is also inhabited by butterflies and other insects. Jan van Huysum was the leading Dutch painter of flower-pieces in the eighteenth century. He received prestigious commissions from royal households and aristocrats around Europe. This is his largest painting on copper, a support he only used occasionally. It once formed part of the famous Czernin collection in Vienna.

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  • title: Flower Still Life with Bird's Nest
  • accession number: NG 2868
  • artist: Jan van HuysumNetherlandish (1682 - 1749)
  • gallery: Scottish National Gallery(On Display)
  • object type: Painting
  • date created: About 1718
  • measurements: 80.10 x 61.40 cm
  • credit line: Accepted by HM Government in lieu of Inheritance Tax and allocated to the Scottish National Gallery, 2013
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Jan van Huysum

Jan van Huysum

Jan van Huysum was born in Amsterdam and trained with his father Justus, a flower painter. After his father died in 1716, he was soon recognised as the most important painter of flower still-lifes of his time. Starting with dark backgrounds, he introduced more light in his paintings in the 1710s, eventually moving on to light backgrounds with landscape elements which were highly successful. His compositions are often flamboyant but the flowers are depicted in perfect detail. He had wealthy clients around Europe and died a rich man in his native city.