Glass Vase with Flowers, with a Poppy and a Finch Nest

The roses in the foreground of this painting, shown in various stages of development, and the poppy anemones in several shades, may have come from van Huysum’s own garden in Amsterdam, which was supplied by flower-growers from nearby Haarlem.

Note how the light passes through the bouquet, creating an unprecedented sense of space. Along a main diagonal axis going from the lower left to the upper right, flowers show subtle distinctions of colour and texture, with variations on white and pink. Van Huysum’s love for his work is perfectly shown by the nuances of green in younger and older leaves, as well as in the clear drops of water that are painted on the leaves. The artist’s accurate depiction of each specimen ensures that even the mosses in the finch’s nest are identifiable.

Key facts

Artist dates
1682 - 1749
Full title
Glass Vase with Flowers, with a Poppy and a Finch Nest
Date made
about 1720-21
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
41 × 34 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
On loan from a private collection
Inventory number
Location in Gallery