Rachel Ruysch (1664-1750) was a Dutch painter known for her exquisite still-life paintings, particularly those featuring flowers. She is considered one of the most prominent and successful female artists of the Dutch Golden Age, a period of great artistic achievement in the Netherlands during the 17th century.
Ruysch was born in The Hague, Netherlands, into a family of artists. Her father was a professor of anatomy and botany, which likely influenced her later work. She received artistic training from her father and various prominent artists of the time.
Her work primarily focused on still-life paintings, particularly intricate arrangements of flowers. Ruysch’s paintings are known for their exceptional attention to detail, delicate rendering of textures, and vibrant colors. Her compositions often featured carefully arranged bouquets of flowers, insects, and other elements of nature. She had a remarkable ability to capture the beauty and ephemeral quality of nature in her works.
Rachel Ruysch gained recognition and fame during her lifetime, which was a notable achievement for a female artist in her era. She was highly regarded by her contemporaries, and her works were collected by European aristocrats, including various monarchs.
Despite the challenges faced by female artists during the 17th century, Ruysch’s talent and determination allowed her to establish a successful career and leave a lasting impact on the art world. Her works can be found in numerous museums and private collections around the world, and she is celebrated for her contributions to the genre of still-life painting.
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1) Rachel Ruysch, born in The Hague, Netherlands on June 3, 1664 to October 12, 1750 (aged 86), was a Dutch still-life painter from the Northern Netherlands.
2) At a young age she painted the flowers and insects of her father’s collection of Otto Marseus van Schrieck. In 1679, at 15, Ruysch was apprenticed to Willem van Aelst, a prominent flower painter.
3) In 1693 she married Amsterdam portrait painter Juriaen Pool, with whom she had 10 children. Throughout her marriage & life she continued to paint and produce commissions for an international patrons.
4) Stylistically, her artwork, with its playful composition and brilliant colors, was part of the rococo movement. Her asymmetrical compositions possessed a great energy about them.
5) Art historians consider her to be one of the most talented still life artists of either sex. By the time of her death, she had produced hundreds of paintings, with 250 documented or attributed to her.
6) In 1999 a painting by she was discovered in a farmhouse in Normandy and was sold at auction for 2.9 million French francs, about US$508,000. In 03/2021, her work was added at the Rijksmuseum.