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Jean-Michel Picart

Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase with Relief of Leaves


Jean-Michel Picart
Antwerp about 1600 – Paris 1682


Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase with Relief of Leaves


1630s or 1640s


Oil on wood


65 x 46.5 cm


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 2014.78


Western Art

Picart was born in Antwerp and probably received his early training there. By 1625, however, he was living in Paris, where he would have come into contact with numerous Flemish and Dutch painters. Here, he developed his treatment of still-life subjects according to the manner of les peintres de la réalité (artists active in France in the first half of the seventeenth century), whose work is characterized by clarity and simplicity. Until the 1650s, at which time Picart’s style shifted to become more sumptuous and ornamental, the artist’s still-life depictions are noted for an economy of elements – even at times a rusticity – that implies focused, contemplative moderation and quite reflection. The present painting features a variety of cultivated flowers, most notably carnations. Botanical and flower gardens had become popular among the educated middle class and the nobility in France. Among the most popular flowers were tulips and carnations, appreciated especially for the hundreds of ranges of colours and formations that could be obtained.

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