Vase of Flowers

Object Details


Vase of Flowers


Follower of Jan van Huysum (Dutch, 1682 - 1749)




mid-18th century


Oil on canvas


54.6 x 40.6 cm (21 1/2 x 16 in.)

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Still life painting flourished in Holland in the 1600s. A great interest in botany arose toward the end of the 1500s, when collectors of herbs and plants were spending fortunes on their gardens; their desire for portraits of their prized possessions fueled the popularity of flower painting. Later on, Dutch still lifes were eagerly taken up by French painters and collectors and came to decorate the most fashionable French salons.

Like Jan van Huysum himself, this follower of Huysum embraced many different species in his composition, including flowers that do not bloom in the same season. While Van Huysum usually intended his ephemeral blossoms to convey a Vanitas meditation on the fleetingness of life, this artist's purpose was probably largely decorative. As in its companion Vase of Flowers, the flowers take up nearly the entire canvas, emphasizing the arrangement's abundance. The composition is straightforward, centrally placed against a blank background that sets off the colorful flowers and their Rococo vase.


Possibly Marie-Caroline, Duchesse de Berri, 1798 - 1870 (Schloss Frohsdorf, Austria; Paris, France; Venice, Italy), possibly by inheritance to her son, Henri de Bourbon V, 1870.


Henri de Bourbon V, duke of Bordeaux and count of Chambord, 1820 - 1883 (Schloss Frohsdorf, Austria; Paris, France; Venice, Italy), by inheritance within the Bourbon family, possibly to Jaime III de Borbón y Borbón, 1883.

- 1931

Jaime III de Borbón y Borbón, 1870 - 1931 (Schloss Frohsdorf, Austria), by inheritance to his niece, Beatrice Teresa de Borbón y Borbón, 1931.

- 1938

Princess Beatrice Teresa de Borbón y Borbón, 1871 - 1961 (Rome, Italy; Schloss Frohsdorf, Austria) [sold, Massimo sale, Sotheby's, London, July 20, 1938, lot 30 (in same lot as companion), to J. Paul Getty.]

1938 - 1976

J. Paul Getty, 1892 - 1976 (Malibu, California; Sutton Place, Surrey, England), upon his death, held in trust by the estate.

1976 - 1978

Estate of J. Paul Getty, 1892 - 1976, distributed to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.


Sotheby's, London. Catalogue of the Celebrated Pictures and Drawings Comprising the Collections of the Royal House of France, Removed from Schloss Frohsdorf, Lower Austria, and sold by order of H.R.H. Princess Beatrix de Bourbon-Massimo. July 20, 1938 p. 9, lot 30 (as two flower pieces ... a pair [with 78.PA.67].

Valentiner, Wilhelm R., and Paul Wescher. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook (Los Angeles: n.p., 1954) p. 16; 2nd edition, 1956, p. 31.

Getty, J. Paul, and Ethel Le Vane. Collector's Choice: The Chronicle of an Artistic Odyssey through Europe (London: W. H. Allen, 1955) pp. 69, 159.

Valentiner, Wilhelm R., and Paul Wescher. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 2nd ed. (Los Angeles: n.p., 1956) p. 31.

Fredericksen, Burton B. A Handbook of the Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965) p. 15, no. G-23.

Getty, J. Paul. The Joys of Collecting (New York: Hawthorn Books, Inc., 1965) pp. 9-10.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997) p. 63, ill.