Bouquet of Flowers on a Ledge, ca. 1640.
Oil on canvas, H. 0.34 m; W. 0.43 m
Provenance: Private collection
Nicolas Baudesson, who was born in Troyes, was apprenticed to his uncle in Paris, the famous still life painter Jacques Linard (1597-1645). A young protégé of the Chancelier Séguier, Baudesson spent a significant part of his career in Rome, probably between 1632 and 1666 in the footsteps of the Italian “fioranti”, the most famous of which was Mario Nuzzi known as Mario de’ Fiori (1603-1673). Back in France, his skill in the depiction of bouquets of flowers made him appreciated by many connoisseurs such as the financier Jabach, and several of his paintings were also to be found in the Royal collections (today at the museum in Versailles).
In our painting, we note the care given to the staging and the balance of colours arranged in shades of blue and pink combined subtly with grace in a play of curves of stalks. The dark aspect of the colours and the background recall contemporary Italian flower paintings such as those by Paolo Porporo (1617-1673).
The marks of the humble art that characterises French flower painting of the first half of the 17th century are also visible: the sparse, balanced arrangement of the flowers and the restraint of the décor are all characteristic of the French school of the 1630s and 1640s, in particular the art of Jacques Linard.