Artist

Rachel Ruysch

Still Life with Rose Branch, Beetle and Bee

    • Rachel Ruysch (Dutch, 1664–1750)
    • Oil on canvas, laid on oak wood, 20 x 24.5 cm
    • 1741
    • Kunstmuseum Basel

Flowers in a Glass Vase

    • Rachel Ruysch (Dutch, 1664–1750)
    • Oil on canvas, Unframed: 33 × 26-3/8″ (83.8 × 67 cm)
    • 1704
    • Detroit Institute of Arts

Learn more about Ruysch’s painting Flowers in a Glass Vase: The Detroit Institute of Arts

The Artist

The granddaughter of an architect and the daughter of an eminent professor of anatomy and botany, Rachel Ruysch became one of the most successful flower painters of the Dutch Golden Age. She was known as “the Amsterdam Pallas,” “Holland’s art prodigy,” and “our subtle art heroine.” Even after she married, she continued to work as an artist; Ruysch was one of the top selling Dutch artists of her day. 

Her compositions included flowers, fruit and woodlands. Often she grouped together flowers that do not bloom at the same time in nature. Her paintings are carefully detailed. Sometimes she enlivened her them with small animals—birds and lizards—as well as beetles, butterflies and bees.

Rachel Ruysch’s career spanned six decades. On the painting that scholars believe was her last, Ruysch recorded her age in her signature: she was 83. 

 

As of December 2019, a different painting by this artist—Floral Still Life, 1726, held at the Toledo Museum of Art—is included in the CODART Canon as one of 100 Dutch/Flemish masterpieces (as voted on by CODART curator-members).

Current and past exhibitions featuring Rachel Ruysch:

Rachel Ruysch: Nature Into Art is the world’s first major monographic exhibition of the artist’s work. The show is presented by Munich’s Alte Pinakothek in cooperation with the Toledo Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. It opens November 26, 2024 at Alte Pinakothek, where it runs through March 25, 2025. It then moves to the Toledo Museum of Art (April 13–July 27, 2025) and finally to the Museum of Fine Arts Boston (August 23–December 7, 2025).

Making Her Mark: A History of Women Artists in Europe, 1400–1800 at the Art Gallery of Ontario from March 30–July 1, 2024. The show was on previously (October 1, 2023–January 7, 2024) at the Baltimore Museum of Art

Learn more online about Rachel Ruysch at:

The Art Herstory Blog:

Rachel Ruysch’s Vase of Flowers with an Ear of Corn, by Lizzie Marx

Floral Still Life, 1726—A Masterpiece by Rachel Ruysch, by Lawrence W. Nichols

Rachel Ruysch (16641750): A Birthday Tribute to “the Amsterdam Pallas”

 

Mutual Art: Explore >

The National Museum of Women in the Arts: Explore >

National Gallery (London): Explore >

Artsy article: Explore >

Khan Academy: Explore >

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Artemisia Gentileschi

Maria Schalcken

Judith Leyster

Join the Art Herstory Community!