The shape and colour of the exotic tulip in the background contrasts with the summer-flowering holly-hock. Complementing the carefully painted flowers, the snails, one on the ledge on the right and another on a leaf, introduce another element of realism. As in other paintings by the artist, the composition consists of flowers from different seasons, which suggests that the picture does not represent a single bouquet. Instead, as these flowers bloom at different times of the year, the artist must have painted this picture over a period of time, or after drawings from nature.
The National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN