Willem van Aelst

Flower Still Life with a Timepiece

2 voorzijde
2 detail signatuur en datering
2 achterzijde
2 ingelijst
2 voorzijde
2 voorzijde

Willem van Aelst
Flower Still Life with a Timepiece

1663 On view in Room 16

Van Aelst’s flower still-lifes are different to those of his predecessors. Rather than painting symmetrical bouquets, he arranged them along a diagonal line. Moreover, he did not light them evenly, opting instead for strong contrasts of light and dark. This lends tension and dynamism to his bouquets.

This profuse flower painting was intended as a showpiece. The flowers stand in a costly silver vase, and a gold watch lies beside them. Van Aelst, who had lived in Italy, signed the work with his Italian name.

Technical details
2 voorzijde

Willem van Aelst
Flower Still Life with a Timepiece

1663 On view in Room 16

Upwards

Details

General information
Willem van Aelst (Delft 1627 - after 1683 Amsterdam)
Flower Still Life with a Timepiece
1663
painting
2
Room 16
Material and technical details
oil
canvas
49 x 62.5 cm
Inscriptions
linksonder: Guill.mo van Aelst. 1663.

Origin

The Het Loo Palace, Apeldoorn, 1757; Prince William V, The Hague, until 1795; confiscated by the French, transferred to the Muséum Central des Arts/Musée Napoléon (Musée du Louvre), Paris, 1795-1815; Royal Picture Gallery, housed in the Prince William V Gallery, The Hague, 1816; transferred to the Mauritshuis, 1822

Bluebottle and butterfly

The bluebottle is silhouetted against the white flower of the snowball tree. Flies symbolise the brevity of life. The downy cabbage white, with its transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, refers to rebirth.

Van Aelst Bloemstilleven Met Horloge Detail Second Canvas