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Still life of fruit and a pie on a table

The Royal Collection has a stunning collection of seventeenth century Dutch art

Maria van Oosterwyck (Noorddorp 1630-Uitdam 1693)

Still Life with Flowers, Insects and a Shell 1689

RCIN 405625

Queen's Dining Room, Kensington Palace

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In this painting a vase of flowers rests on the ledge of a niche. Oosterwyck was a student of Jan Davidsz. de Heem and specialised in richly detailed flower paintings. Here, a variety of species of rose can be identified, as well as a carnation and a marigold. A bee, a butterfly and a dragonfly have settled on the flowers. A shell is on the ledge to the left of the vase.

Although the painting is dated three years after her Still-Life with flowers and Butterflies (RCIN 405626), also in the Royal Collection, it may have been painted to form a pair with that picture. Indeed both works were first recorded in the Royal Collection during Queen Anne’s reign.