Rachel Ruysch (1664 - 1750) was a Dutch flower painter. Her father was a botanist, and her meticulous works are known for their botanical accuracy.
She worked for many years as a court painter, and continued to paint into her eighties, producing over a hundred works that are known today.
This painting has the very dark background that was popular in still life paintings of the period, used as a foil for the bright colours of flowers and fruit, and the glint of crystal or brass. Later, after seeing the lighter backgrounds in the work of her contemporary, Jan van Huysum, she began to lighten her own, while keeping them neutral.
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