Arnoldus Bloemers (Dutch, 1786-1844)
THE PROPERTY OF AN OREGON COLLECTOR
Arnoldus Bloemers (Dutch, 1786-1844)

Roses, Poppies, Cornflowers, Convulvulus, Jasmine, Fritilleries, a Primula, a Peony, and Lilac in a terracotta Vase with a Sprig of Roses and other Flowers on a Stone Ledge

Details
Arnoldus Bloemers (Dutch, 1786-1844)
Roses, Poppies, Cornflowers, Convulvulus, Jasmine, Fritilleries, a Primula, a Peony, and Lilac in a terracotta Vase with a Sprig of Roses and other Flowers on a Stone Ledge
signed with initials 'AB' (lower right)
oil on canvas
19½ x 16¾ in. (49.6 x 42.5 cm.)
Provenance
with M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York (by whom loaned to the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut).
with Richard Green, London.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 29 January 1998, lot 49.
with Richard Green, London.

Lot Essay

Holland's reputation as a country dominated by flowers is not only based on its vast bulb fields and extensive flower export but also on its tradition of flower painting which started during Holland's Golden Age. At the beginning of the 17th Century an interest developed in the depiction of composed flower still lives. Before garlands and groups of flowers were often used to enrich a composition but never before in Holland had it taken such a central place as a stand alone theme of painting.

Throughout the 17th and 18th Century a artists of all nationalities specialized in this theme. An evolution is clearly visible in their work, dictated not only by fashion but also by the various species of flowers discovered during that time. However there are some elements that clearly define the Dutch taste in flower painting and which have been its unchanging characteristics. One of its most prominent features is the variety of flowers arranged in a vase against a neutral background. This rich variety, an impossibility of nature due to the difference in flowering season, was a truly artificial composition. The esthetic quality clearly took precedence over any conformity to biological accuracy. Each flower was studied during its growing season and the sketches served as a pictorial memory.

One of the most well known 17th Century masters within this genre is Jan van Huysum (1682-1749). His work was widely admired and his influence on the theme was far-reaching. It is his work that mostly inspired the artist of the present lot. Arnoldus Bloemers was born in Amsterdam in 1792 and studied at the Academy of Amsterdam under Antoine Piera. The present lot fits seamlessly in the Dutch tradition of flower painting. An ornamental terracotta vase filled with flowers from all seasons has been placed on a marble ledge against a neutral background. This rich still life has an engaging composition which is characterized by the tension between the warm and subtle earth tones and the vibrant and striking blues, pinks and reds. The play of light, fading some elements to the back and highlighting others in the foreground, combined with the almost tangible quality of the flowers are a testament to the great skill of this master of the 19th Century Dutch Still life.
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