The present picture, depicting no less than eighteen different flower types in a glass vase, is the smallest painting known by this female artist (see: N. Janssen, Paintings of Maria van Oosterwijck, part 2 'Flower still lives', no. B25; http://www.mariavanoosterwijck.nl/B25). The small size of the panel may suggest that it was painted as a showpiece: a virtuoso demonstration of the artist's skill at depicting different flowers. Indeed the presence of Van Oosterwijck's signature on such a large scale, carved in marble and somewhat disproportionate to the composition itself, suggests that she was particularly proud of this painting.
Maria van Oosterwijck was the daughter of a wealthy clergyman, whose first studio was said to be in her grandfather's vicarage in Delft. The still life artist Willem van Aelst courted her, but she never married. Her paintings were eagerly collected and her patrons included Louis XIV of France, Emperor Leopold I and Stadholder-King William III.