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Style of Jan van Huysum, Flowers in a Stone Vase

Key facts
Full title Flowers in a Stone Vase
Artist Style of Jan van Huysum
Artist dates 1682 - 1749
Date made 1710-20
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 88.3 × 77.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Dr W.D. Wilkes, 1917
Inventory number NG3165
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Flowers in a Stone Vase
Style of Jan van Huysum

Time and inexpert hands have not been kind to this picture. White flowers, difficult to identify with certainty, and heavy roses loom out of the darkness. A scarlet poppy turns its back to display ragged grey sepals.

The flowers are painted with skill, but the murky background has been considerably darkened with varnish and become badly cracked. Colours have changed, particularly greens that have deepened to a dusky blue. The picture was originally hexagonal. Four triangular sections were patched in at the corners and then roughly covered with black paint, leaving the joints clearly visible.

Is this the work of the celebrated flower painter, Jan van Huysum? The brushmarks apparently aren't his style. We can see his name at the bottom of the picture but it’s not his handwriting, so the painting’s authorship must remain unknown.

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