Dutch artists invented the flower piece, a type of painting that remained popular throughout the 1700s and 1800s, primarily in France. Artists used flower paintings as vehicles for brilliant color and animated composition, usually displaying an intense realism.
Jan van Huysum was one of the most exuberant practioners of the genre. Working in the 1700s, Van Huysum acquired the sophisticated taste and love of embellishment associated with the Rococo period in France. While flower pictures often carried moral messages, this picture and its probable companion, Vase of Flowers, were conceived without didactic lessons for the viewer.