Still Life with Flowers by Ast, Balthasar van der

Still Life with Flowers
Ast, Balthasar van der
c.1632-57;
Oil on canvas, 59 x 43 cm;
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NetherlandsOn a table stands a dark-green, fluted vase with flowers. Beside this
are several exotic shells. These were probably part of the painter's
collection since the one closest - a 'conus ranunculus' - occurs
frequently in his work. A small salamander and a caterpillar are
creeping across the table. Above left, in the shadow, a flying wasp
approaches. The painting is signed by Balthasar van der Ast but he
probably left a significant proportion of the work to his
assistants. The painting's underdrawing is clearly visible. Van der
Ast may well have produced this as a guideline for his apprentices to
continue 'coloring in'.An ochre-yellow ground was applied over the underdrawing. The yellow
shines through the grey upper layer, giving the painting a warm
glow. In some places it is the ground that we see, as in the
butterfly's wing where the yellow is uncovered. The background was the
first to be painted, with spaces left for the flowers. These were then
coloured in, but so finely that the underdrawing remains visible. The
flowers are modelled more with lines than with paint. Van der Ast has
given the closest flowers a light colour, which projects them forward
somewhat. The flowers at the edge of the bouquet are painted against
the dark background, marginalising them. In this way the artist gives
the bouquet depth and volume.Ground is visible in the butterflyUnderdrawing defines the flowerBalthasar van der Ast's brother-in-law was the still-life painter
Ambrosius Bosschaert in whose style he first worked. These early
flower pieces provide a display of botanically interesting flowers,
depicted side-by-side. This still life by Van der Ast is from a later
period. It is less precise and shows a more casual style. The
individual flowers are less detailed and overlap. However, Van der Ast
has copied a few of the flowers from paintings by Bosschaert.Credits:
The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

Still Life with Flowers Ast, Balthasar van der c.1632-57; Oil on canvas, 59 x 43 cm; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, NetherlandsOn a table stands a dark-green, fluted vase with flowers. Beside this are several exotic shells. These were probably part of the painter's collection since the one closest - a 'conus ranunculus' - occurs frequently in his work. A small salamander and a caterpillar are creeping across the table. Above left, in the shadow, a flying wasp approaches. The painting is signed by Balthasar van der Ast but he probably left a significant proportion of the work to his assistants. The painting's underdrawing is clearly visible. Van der Ast may well have produced this as a guideline for his apprentices to continue 'coloring in'.An ochre-yellow ground was applied over the underdrawing. The yellow shines through the grey upper layer, giving the painting a warm glow. In some places it is the ground that we see, as in the butterfly's wing where the yellow is uncovered. The background was the first to be painted, with spaces left for the flowers. These were then coloured in, but so finely that the underdrawing remains visible. The flowers are modelled more with lines than with paint. Van der Ast has given the closest flowers a light colour, which projects them forward somewhat. The flowers at the edge of the bouquet are painted against the dark background, marginalising them. In this way the artist gives the bouquet depth and volume.Ground is visible in the butterflyUnderdrawing defines the flowerBalthasar van der Ast's brother-in-law was the still-life painter Ambrosius Bosschaert in whose style he first worked. These early flower pieces provide a display of botanically interesting flowers, depicted side-by-side. This still life by Van der Ast is from a later period. It is less precise and shows a more casual style. The individual flowers are less detailed and overlap. However, Van der Ast has copied a few of the flowers from paintings by Bosschaert.Credits: The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.