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. Garlands and groups of flowers had previously been used to enrich a composition, but never before in Holland had these motifs taken such a central place as the primary theme of painting.
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 of floral still lifes was far-reaching. It is his work that mostly inspired Arnoldus Bloemers.
This painting fits seamlessly into the tradition of Dutch flower painting. An overflowing vase of flowers from all seasons has been placed on a 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 of the ledge and background and the vibrant and striking blues, pinks and reds of the flowers. 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 still life.