Cornelis van Spaendonck, Bouquet de roses anciennes, jasmins et primevères
Cornelis van Spaendonck (1756-1839)

Bouquet of Old Roses, Jasmines and Primroses, 1829

Oil on paper laid down on canvas, H. 0.32 m; W. 0.24 m

Signed and dated lower right: Cornelis van Spaendonck / 1829

Provenance: Private collection

Cornelis van Spaendonck was born in the Dutch city of Tilburg, but by the age of seventeen he had followed his older brother Gerardus, also a gifted still life artist, to Paris, where they both enjoyed long and successful careers. Cornelis became a member of the French Royal Academy in 1789 and exhibited his paintings in the Salons of Paris until 1833. From 1785 to 1800, Cornelis van Spaendonck was head of the Sèvres porcelain works.

Although Spaendonck’s work is removed in time by more than a century from the height of flower painting initiated by painters like Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder and Roelant Saverij during the so-called Golden Age, it shares with the work of these early artists a great technical virtuosity, finish, and sensitivity to lighting in its depiction of a lush cornucopia of flowers that spill over the canvas. Given the later date of Spaendonck’s work, it is generally agreed among scholars that less meaning should be read into the presence and placement of individual flowers, and felt that viewers should merely experience the enjoyment of nature’s generosity and the artist’s skill. This work was realized in Van Spaendonck’s final years, and is exemplary of his lavish representations of flowers.