Archive for January 14, 2012

Artist of the moment….. Rachel Ruysch….

Below is a clip comparing the artist to a Flemish artist named Clara Peeters. It compares painting techniques when the flower is the whole painting to when it is just part of an overall image.

Another short clip featuring the artist comparing works of the Baroque and Rococo periods.The artist was a mixture of both.



I have been trying to point out some wonderful still life painters that bring different twists the genre. Some examples would be Marc Dennis, who loves to paint and eat the bugs and insects found around flowers. A very interesting man who even hosts bug dinners during the summer season. Or Eric Wert, who paints the flower exquisitely and then adds interesting textures to the background and some awesome reflections done off of glass that is wet, featuring many water droplets. Paintings within paintings within paintings I like to think.

How about looking at some artists back in the Dutch Golden Age who started painting insects in with still lifes. The artist to look at right now is Rachel Ruysch.

She was born in the Netherlands in 1664. She was born in a city called ‘”The Hague”. Her father was one of the world’s greatest professors of anatomy. Her mother was the daughter of a famous architect, Peter Post, who built the residence the royal family lives in.

The artist studied with William Van Aelst. She then married a portrait painter named Juriaen Pool. They had 10 children. In the early 1700s the family was named painters to the high court in Dusseldorf remaining there until 1716. The high court purchased all of their output during these years. The family moved back to Amsterdam and Ruysch died in 1750 and painted until very old.

I enjoy this artist since she was a woman artist, just being so successful as a female painter in this time period is stunning. But when you add the fact she painted insects and bouquets of flowers even when the flowers weren’t in season.  I enjoy her compositions and lighting skills. Very inspiring to think of such a modern vision happening centuries ago, before the film camera was around to snap pictures of quick moving insects.

Try a floral with a butterfly or other insect!

Happy painting!