Floral still life

Dirck van Rijswijck

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 551

Trained as a goldsmith, Van Rijswijck was celebrated during his lifetime for his inlaywork of mother-of-pearl in ebony or black marble creating still-life pictures and several tabletops. The large-scale importation of tropical shells into Amsterdam during the seventeenth century prompted contemporary artists to specialize in the working of mother-of-pearl. Carefully choosing pieces that simulated the natural colors of his subjects, Van Rijswijck engraved certain features with a burin and darkened them with charcoal and wax. Like most flower paintings, his compositions were not entirely realistic in their portrayal of blooms that available during different seasons.

Floral still life, Dirck van Rijswijck (Cleves, Germany 1596–1679 Amsterdam), Black marble inlaid with engraved mother-of-pearl and breccia marble, ebony frame, Dutch, Amsterdam

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