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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Offering of the Day: An Elegant Flemish School Floral Still Life

Flemish School, Seventeenth Century
Flowers in a Vase on a Ledge
Oil on canvas
Canvas size: 34 3/8” x 27 5/8”

                This masterful work is typical of the Flemish school during the seventeenth century. The classically styled vase is overflowing with flowers each bloom flaunting its unique color, shape and size.  The graceful bend of each stem and harmoniously tinted nuance of each blossom pays homage to nature, while the darkened background emphasizes the beauty of each vibrant flowering specimen. 

                The Dutch contribution to flower painting has been well-documented where practitioners of the art mainly settled in Middelburg, Delft, Utrecht, The Hague and Amsterdam. However, Antwerp, in the Roman Catholic southern Low Countries, also became a center for the floral art, where the local wealthy bourgeoisie constituted good clientele for orders, thus encouraging the local talent.  While seemingly formulaic, the artist of each flower piece tried to convey the intrinsic beauty of each blossom and it is his skill in doing this that divides the ordinary from the more exemplary examples of the genre.

                This particular painting, although currently without attribution, can be regarded as a superlative example of the Flemish style.  It has previously been attributed to the Italian artist of note, Giovanni Stanchi (active Rome 1645-1672).

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