After a brief apprenticeship with Guillaume-Jacques Herreyns, the artist left Antwerp for Paris to join his brother Gerard, who was also an artist. Next he worked at the Sèvres porcelain factory as both director and designer. In 1789 he became a member of the Académie and made his Salon debut in the same year establishing himself in his own right. He painted and exhibited throughout his life with contributions to the Salon continuing until 1833. Cornelis was able to execute large canvases as well as these smaller detailed compositions which relate more closely to his work at Sèvres. Similar compositions can be found in the Louvre, Paris, and the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, where the dimensions are within one cm. of the present pair (see M. Boven and S. Segal, Gerard & Cornelis van Spaendonck Twee Brabantse bloemenschilders in Parijs, Amsterdam, 1980, pp. 144-15, figs. 68-70).