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

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—is included in the CODART Canon as one of 100 Dutch/Flemish masterpieces (as voted on by CODART curator-members). 

Learn more online about Rachel Ruysch at:

The Art Herstory Blog:

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

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


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