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Simon Verelst : “Flowers in a Vase” (c. 1669)

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With just a few flowers, Verelst created a composition of great sophistication and balance. A simple glass flask is filled with a large rose, a red anemone, and a white narcissus tinged with pink. These flowers are surrounded by a scattering of smaller blossoms. Like many still-life painters, Verelst depicted a window reflected in the glass vase, but here he did not show the window’s precise structure. He did, however, use another common device: the depiction of a few chips in the stone surface to make the material seem more tangible.

Early in his career, Verelst moved from Holland to London, where he worked for the court of King James II and was extravagantly praised for the realism of his flower paintings.

(Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art).

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