Dutch and Flemish Flower Pieces (2 vols in case)

Paintings, Drawings and Prints up to the Nineteenth Century

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This richly illustrated book provides an overview of all known Dutch and Flemish artists up to the nineteenth century who painted or drew flower pieces, or else made prints of them. Unlike many mainstream art historical studies, the book takes a truly comprehensive approach, including cases where only a single example is known or even if nothing of the artist’s other work appears to have survived. Containing highly instructive lists identifying the names of flowers, as well as insects and other animals, the book also discusses the earliest depictions of flower still life and the distinctive characteristics behind the development of floral arrangements in different periods, including the variation of the flowers, the variety of techniques used by artists, as well as an exploration of the symbolism behind the numerous plant and animal species this form of art portrays.

Composed in Dutch, the text was translated into English by Judith Deitch and edited by Philip Kelleway.

Publication of this book was made possible thanks to generous support of:
• Dr. med. Bettina Leysen
• Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo and the Center for Netherlandish Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

With additional support of the M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting.

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Sam Segal (1933–2018) studied biology and philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, where he established and led his own research group at the Department of Botanical Ecology. He later specialized in still life paintings and lectured at the VU Amsterdam, as well as curating exhibitions in Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Kazakhstan, the Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, the UK and the United States. He donated his comprehensive photographic archive with over ninety thousand images relating to still life painting to the RKD-Netherlands Institute for Art History in The Hague. Segal published more than one hundred art historical publications, including many exhibition catalogues, and was widely regarded as one of the foremost experts on still lifes. His original contributions remain essential reading for all those interested in the field of Dutch and Flemish still life painting. For a more complete overview see samsegal.nl.

Klara Alen (b. 1988) is an independent scholar and archival researcher at Still Life Studies. She has a Ph.D. in art history (KU Leuven) and a master’s degree in art market studies (VU Amsterdam). Alen has published papers and given lectures on the early development of still life painting in the Northern and Southern Netherlands, women artists and the social and entrepreneurial strategies of early modern artists and art dealers. She is writing a book about Dutch, Flemish, English, French and German prints of flower pieces during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (working together with Sam Segal before he sadly passed away) and a monograph on the early Antwerp flower and laid table painter Osias Beert.
Listed as recommended reading in The Financial Times: Collecting: the Blooming Market for Dutch Floral Paintings, by Clare Coulson (December 2, 2021).


Chapter 1 | Backgrounds: Historical, Botanical, Cultural and Aesthetic

Chapter 2 | On the Symbolism of Flowers and Animals in Still Life Paintings

Chapter 3 | Artists’ Materials and Techniques

Chapter 4 | The Development of the Flower Piece

Chapter 5 | The Prehistory of the Flower Piece

Chapter 6 | The Early Period (ca. 1600-1620)

Chapter 7 | The Second Quarter of the Seventeenth Century (ca. 1620-1650)

Chapter 8 | The Second Half of the Seventeenth Century (ca. 1650-1700)

Chapter 9 | The Eighteenth Century (ca. 1700-1800)

Chapter 10 | The Flower Piece as Print

Chapter 11 | About Florilegia

Chapter 12 | Botanical and Zoological Aspects in Art

Appendix 1 | Flora

Appendix 2 | Animalia


All interested in still life paintings, drawings and prints and also those interested in botany and plant ecology.
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