Rachel Ruysch (1664–1750)

Rachel Ruysch was a still life painter from the Netherlands, and her speciality was intricate and detailed still lifes of flowers. With her unique style, she achieved international success and would become the best documented female painter of the Dutch Golden Age. 

Her extraordinary compositions would be difficult to replicate in nature. She paid extensive attention to detail, with each petal and leaf made up of delicate brushstrokes, and she manipulated the colour of flowers to create a more balanced picture. Her style of painting could be seen as an early form of 'Photoshopping'. Instead of painting life as it was, she painted life in a curated way to create the most perfect composition and image. ⁠

Ruysch painted a long succession of flower paintings, several fruit pieces, and a number of ‘forest floors’. She was likely inspired by the leading innovator of the genre, Otto Marseus van Schrieck (1613-78). This is a relatively early example from Ruysch's series. 

 Rachel Ruysch (1665–1750)
A 'Forest Floor' still life of Flowers
Oil on canvas
47 x 40 cm
Bequeathed by Daisy Linda Ward, 1939
View on our Collection Online Site: WA1940.2.64
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