A Bouquet of Flowers

Clara Peeters Flemish

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 617

Peeters was a founding figure in the history of European still life, a genre that attracted many women artists who did not have the opportunity to study nude models. In this ambitious composition, Peeters paid close attention to naturalistic details like dewdrops, insect bites, and drooping tulips that hint at transience and decay. At the same time, she asserted her own achievement by inscribing her signature in the stone ledge, juxtaposed with a fallen sprig of forget-me-nots. The crisp edges and acute observation that characterize her work reveal the close link between floral painting and botanical illustration during the Scientific Revolution.

A Bouquet of Flowers, Clara Peeters (Flemish, Mechelen ca. 1587–after 1636 Ghent), Oil on wood

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