Jan van Kessel

(Flemish, 1626–1679)

Tulips, Peonies, Carnations, Roses, Convolvulus, and other Flowers in a Glass Vase on a Ledge

c. 1650

Oil on canvas

Grasset Collection

Van Kessel was born into a family of painters. This undoubtedly helped him perfect his technique. Here the fresh and brilliant colors of crisply painted striped tulips and other flowers beautifully contrast with the shadowy background, while the glass vase shows the artist’s careful study of light and how it is reflected or diffused. A lively energy pervades the work, in part owing to the wonderful arching movement of the two lowest tulips and a poppy.

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