Still Life with Flowers in a Vase
Christoffel van den Berghe, Dutch (active Middelburg), active c. 1617 - after 1628
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In this still life, Christoffel van den Berghe collected an impossible bouquet of blooms that open at different times of the year, demonstrating that he could surpass the abilities of nature. Each flower is given equal illumination but the most prominent are three striped tulips, which were especially prized in early seventeenth-century Holland. The artist also included shells, insects, and two cups of kraak porcelain imported from China. Flower still lifes were the specialty of painters in Middelburg, capital of the province of Zeeland, and were among the most expensive kind of paintings available in the Dutch republic, their prices rivaling and often surpassing the largest and most complicated history paintings.
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