Study of Three Fritillaries

Herman Saftleven II Dutch

Not on view

This delicate rendering of three fritillaries is one of twenty-seven known drawings of flowers and plants that Saftleven created towards the end of his life. Agneta Block (1629-1704), a niece by marriage of the Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel, commissioned Saftleven as well as a number of other artists to make drawings of the enormous collection of plants and flowers in her countryhouse on the river Vecht called Vijverhof. They were stored in several albums and the known drawings make up only a fraction of the original group. She inscribed the plant's Latin name on the verso of each drawing and on this sheet the inscription "Fritillaria rara specii variae" can be seen through the backing.
The Met has four drawings by Saftleven including another drawing of flowers (2008.46) which dates to three years earlier and does not display the shadows that these do.

Study of Three Fritillaries, Herman Saftleven II (Dutch, Rotterdam 1609–1685 Utrecht), Watercolor

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