Yesterday we showed you this painting and asked you to guess the artist. The statistical pattern continued this week with a little under one third of you correctly guessing the artist: Rachel Ruysch.
A prominent female Dutch Golden Age painter, Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750) specialized in still lifes. She was the daughter of Frederik Ruysch, a professor of anatomy and botany and an amateur painter. At age 15, she was apprenticed to painter Willem van Aelst, whom she worked with until his death in 1683. She married Juriaen Pool, a portrait painter, in 1693. The couple had ten children together and they were both court painters to the Elector Palatine, John William. She continued painting up until her death at age 83. Ruysch both achieved fame and commanded high prices for her works during her lifetime.
Ruysch was one of the best-known and most highly paid flower painters of her time. Still Life with Flowers on a Marble Table Top is a typical example of her paintings. Her compositions usually include a sumptuous floral arrangement in bright or pastel colors on a marble ledge with a dark background. The simplified background puts further emphasis on the opulent display of flowers and fruits in the foreground of her paintings. Created for wealthy patrons, her realistically-painted scenes provide a glimpse into the luxury of the Dutch Golden Age.