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Dirck de Bray, Flowers in a White Stone Vase

Key facts
Full title Flowers in a White Stone Vase
Artist Dirck de Bray
Artist dates about 1635 - 1694
Date made 1671
Medium and support Oil on wood
Dimensions 62 × 44 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit On loan from the collection of Janice and Brian Capstick
Inventory number L1245
Location Room 23
Image copyright On loan from the collection of Janice and Brian Capstick, © Private Collection
Collection Main Collection
Flowers in a White Stone Vase
Dirck de Bray

For this bouquet, de Bray has selected only flowers that bloom in the same season, at the beginning of summer. Thus the artist’s goal was to paint a natural bouquet and not an imaginary one.

The stark beauty of this bouquet is a far cry from more typical, densely crowded compositions. De Bray masterfully balanced the height of the columbines and peony with the trailing morning glories. The palette is boldly limited, the red and white petals contrasting dramatically with the dark, impenetrable background. These colour accents are skillfully arranged, as for example the ladybird tiptoeing along the marble which provides an intelligent red counterpoint amidst the blue notes. This painting has a quiet, mystical quality conveyed by details like the bumblebee, quietly hiding behind the pot.

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