How many different kinds of flowers can you find in this painting? Do you think they all bloom at the same time, the way you see them here?
Roses, forget-me-nots, lilies of the valley, violets, hyacinths and tulips don't bloom in the same season. The artist, Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, lived in Holland in the early 1600s. He didn't actually have this basket of flowers in front of him while he painted Flower Still Life. Instead, he worked from sketches made from living flowers at different times of the year or from books illustrated with images of flowers.
Many Dutch people in the 1600s had a love for flowers. Those with enough money paid artists to make pictures of their favorite ones. At that time, the Dutch were especially fond of tulips. Can you find all three tulips in the painting? In 1637, prices for unusual tulips soared. One rare bulb sold for enough to buy a very grand home. Thousands of people joined the tulip-growing business, hoping it would be an easy way to get rich, but the craze for tulips didn't last. Within a year, tulip bulbs were worth nothing.