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Balthasar van der Ast

1593/94 - 1657

Balthasar van der Ast was a native of Middelburg in Zeeland. He was the brother-in-law of Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder and, following his parents’ death in 1609, trained in Bosschaert's studio in the town. Van der Ast continued Bosschaert's style of the precise description of fruit and flowers, arranged in compositions carefully balanced in form and colour.

During Van der Ast's long career his compositions gradually became larger and more complex, often including rare and exotic fruits, flowers, shells, and insects.

In 1619, he left Middelburg and moved to Utrecht. In 1632, he settled in Delft where he lived and worked until his death.

Today, over two hundred works by his hand are known.