Rachel Ruysch was born in The Hague, the daughter of the botanist, physician and anatomist, Frederik Ruysch. Her family settled in Amsterdam when she was young and she trained there with the still life painter Willem van Aelst, from 1679.
In the 1680s, Ruysch was influenced by the still life painter Otto Marseus van Schriek, who was famous for his representations of dark forest flora with insects and lizards.
Ruysch worked in The Hague from 1701 to 1708, where she was the first female member of the artist’s society, Confrerie Pictura. From 1708 until 1716, she was court painter to the Elector Palatine, Johan Willem, in Düsseldorf.
Ruysch was a still life and flower painter.