This exquisite exhibition explores the development of Dutch flower painting from its beginnings in the early 17th century to its blossoming in the late 18th century. At the turn of the 17th century, Netherlandish artists such as Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder were among the first to produce paintings that exclusively depicted flowers. The sudden emergence of this genre was undoubtedly linked to the development of scientific interest in botany and horticulture. By the 1630s speculative prices for the most coveted bulbs and flowering plants had reached spectacular heights – the so-called ‘Tulipmania’. Although prices soon crashed, the Dutch enchantment with flowers endured.
Visitors to the exhibition have the opportunity to examine the flower paintings in detail to appreciate the stylistic and technical characteristics of each artist. This rich exhibition features ten of the finest examples of Dutch flower paintings from the National Gallery’s collection including works by Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, Rachel Ruysch and Jan van Huysum.