A Puzzling Artwork (8)
Humor + Variety, Variety

A Puzzling Artwork (8)

Tomasz Wichrowski
time 5 minutes

At the bottom of his work the artist placed small- and medium-sized flowers, such as forget-me-nots, narcissi, primroses and roses; slightly larger ones – tulips, gerber daisies and irises – occupy the centre of the image. Higher up there appear sumptuous peonies, tiger lilies and hydrangeas. The largest – white lilies, blue irises and a magnificent crown imperial – top off the bouquet.

You can read about this complex floral composition below the image.

Bouquet of Flowers in a Ceramic Vase: this banal title hides one of the most beautiful examples of the fashion for still lifes, which blossomed in the world of 17th-century Dutch painting. It’s exactly this kind of work that earned Jan Brueghel the Elder, also called Velvet Brueghel and Paradise Brueghel, another nickname: Flower Brueghel.

The lush bouquets the artist painted aren’t just diligently composed; they


You’ve reached your free article’s limit this month. You can get unlimited access to all our articles and audio content with our digital subscription. If you have an active subscription, please log in.


Also read:

The Bulb Bubble
Jan Brueghel the Younger, “Satire on Tulip Mania”, around 1640, Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem
Art + Stories, Experiences

The Bulb Bubble

The Dutch Tulip Craze
Kamil Bałuk

The tulip fever that swept the Netherlands in the 17th century is a textbook example of a speculative bubble. Merchants did invest colossal money in flower bulbs, but was the madness really as widespread as some sources would have us believe?

“The Pope no longer thanks us for the flowers,” reported the Dutch media despondently in 2019. The headline was somewhat exaggerated because, in fact, Francis had nothing to thank the Dutch for. The journalists could have more accurately written: “We, the Dutch, no longer send the Pope flowers.” This was a tradition dating back to 1985, when during the beatification ceremony of the Dutch priest Titus Brandsma in Rome, his compatriots prepared a special floral composition. The gesture was repeated every year at Easter – usually arranged with yellow and white flowers. Over the years, the custom developed to such an extent that it took as many as 25 florists to oversee the final shape of the Easter composition over a course of two days, year after year.

Continue reading