The Delft painter Jacob Vosmaer was an early if not pioneering specialist in the painting of flower pictures, which often depict rare specimens known to the artists solely from illustrated books. At some time before 1870 this panel was trimmed on the sides and cut down (about nine inches) at the top, cropping the crown imperial.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): Vosmaer 16[13?]
?by descent to Martin comte Cornet de Ways Ruart, Brussels (until d. 1870); [Étienne Le Roy, Brussels, and Léon Gauchez, Paris, until 1870; sold to Blodgett]; William T. Blodgett, Paris and New York (from 1870; sold half share to Johnston); William T. Blodgett, New York, and John Taylor Johnston, New York (1870–71; sold to MMA)
Palm Beach. Society of the Four Arts. "Flower Paintings," March 7–30, 1952, no catalogue?
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "A World of Flowers," May 2–June 9, 1963, unnumbered cat.
New York. Union League Club. "Exhibition from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 23, 1969–January 2, 1970, checklist no. 6.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," September 18, 2007–January 6, 2008, no catalogue.
Louis Decamps. "Un musée transatlantique (2e article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 5 (May 1872), p. 437, as the only known work by Vosmaer, on copper, dated 1615.
Ralph Warner. Dutch and Flemish Flower and Fruit Painters of the XVIIth and XVIIIth Centuries. London, 1928, p. 227, pl. 108d.
Alphonsus Petrus Antonius Vorenkamp. Bijdrage tot de Geschiedenis van het hollandsch Stilleven in de zeventiende Eeuw. PhD diss., Rijksuniversiteit te Leiden. Leiden, 1933, p. 118, cites it as dated 1615.
Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Hans Vollmer. Vol. 34, Leipzig, 1940, p. 560.
Margaretta Salinger. "Early Flower Paintings." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 8 (May 1950), pp. 258–59, ill. on cover (color), as dated 1615; identifies the flowers depicted as peonies, tulips, roses, and irises.
Ingvar Bergström. Dutch Still-Life Painting in the Seventeenth Century. London, 1956, p. 54, as dated 1615, revealing that Vosmaer was a close follower of De Gheyn.
Walther Bernt. Die niederländischen Maler des 17. Jahrhunderts. Vol. 4, Munich, 1962, under no. 298, as dated 1615.
Sydney H[erbert]. Pavière. A Dictionary of Flower, Fruit, and Still Life Painters. Vol. 1, 15th–17th Centuries. Leigh-on-Sea, 1962, p. 65.
Peter Mitchell. Great Flower Painters: Four Centuries of Floral Art. Woodstock, N.Y., 1973, pp. 254, 257, 270, fig. 376, as Vosmaer's earliest known work, dated 1615.
Ingvar Bergström et al. Natura in posa: la grande stagione della natura morta europea. Milan, 1977, p. 219, ill., as dated 1615.
Laurens J. Bol. "'Goede onbekenden': hedendaagse herkenning en waardering van verscholen, voorbijgezien en onderschat talent." Tableau 4 (December 1981–January 1982), pp. 262, 268 n.6, as dated 1615.
Everett Fahy. Metropolitan Flowers. New York, 1982, pp. 82–83, ill. (color).
John Michael Montias. Artists and Artisans in Delft: A Socio-Economic Study of the Seventeenth Century. Princeton, 1982, p. 254, fig. 14, as dating from 1615.
Laurens J. Bol. "Goede Onbekenden": Hedendaagse herkenning en waardering van verscholen, voorbijgezien en onderschat talent. Utrecht, 1982, pp. 89, 96 n.6.
Laurens J. Bol. Holländische Maler des 17. Jahrhunderts nahe de grossen Meistern: Landschaften und Stilleben. 2nd ed. Munich, 1982, p. 43, as dated 1615, one of three signed and dated works by Vosmaer.
Peter van der Ploeg inBoeketten uit de Gouden Eeuw: Mauritshuis in Bloei/Bouquets from the Golden Age: The Mauritshuis in Bloom. Ed. Beatrijs Brenninkmeyer-de Rooij et al. Zwolle, The Netherlands, 1992, p. 104, under no. 27, ill., conjectures that the top of the panel was cut, resulting in a "restless" design.
Beatrijs Brenninkmeyer-de Rooij inDawn of the Golden Age: Northern Netherlandish Art, 1580–1620. Ed. Ger Luijten et al. Exh. cat., Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam, 1993–94, p. 606, under no. 278, mentions the painting as an "autograph version" of the Amsterdam picture, and cites a "third version, also slightly reduced".
Dorothy Mahon. "A New Look at a Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 51 (Winter 1993/94), pp. 32–37, figs. 1 (before restoration), 2, 4, 5 (color, overall and details), describes its fragmentary state and its restoration; reviews the flowers and their possible symbolism; dates it between 1615 and 1620.
Erika Gemar-Koeltzsch. Luca Bild-Lexikon: Holländische Stillebenmaler im 17. Jahrhundert. Ed. Klaus Ertz and Christa Nitze-Ertz. Lingen, Germany, 1995, vol. 3, pp. 1067–68, no. 422/1, ill., as dated 1615.
Walter Liedtke et al. Vermeer and the Delft School. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2001, pp. 91, 425–26, fig. 300 (color), notes the "comparative fluidity" with which the picture is painted, considers this and the similar painting in a private collection, Amsterdam, to be the earliest known paintings by the artist, and suggests that the two works are pendants.
Adriaan van der Willigen and Fred G. Meijer. A Dictionary of Dutch and Flemish Still-life Painters Working in Oils, 1525–1725. Leiden, 2003, p. 211, mistakenly claim that the inscription "has recently been established as apocryphal".
Katharine Baetjer. "Buying Pictures for New York: The Founding Purchase of 1871." Metropolitan Museum Journal 39 (2004), pp. 172, 197, 204, 245, appendix 1A no. 69, ill. p. 204 and fig. 15, clarifies the provenance.
Walter Liedtke. Dutch Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, vol. 1, p. xi; vol. 2, pp. 927–30, no. 213, colorpl. 213, states that this work and the Amsterdam version were probably completed in or about 1613.
Fine seventeenth-century Dutch tortoise-shell frame