The daughter of a professor of anatomy and botany was one of the most sought-after still-life artists of her time. In view of her talent, Rachel Ruysch was apprenticed to Willem van Aelst, which was highly unusual for a woman at the time. On this painting, she has arranged a bouquet of flowers casually in a glass vase. Several small creatures, including a butterfly, a caterpillar and a dragonfly, enliven the flower arrangement. The zoological interest appears to complement the botanical one. The idea of transience, and the fact that the magnificent flowers portrayed here will wither and decay, recedes into the background.
Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.
The provenance information is based on the sources researched at the time they were published digitally. However, this information can change at any time when new sources are discovered. Provenance research is therefore a continuous process and one that is updated at regular intervals.
Ideally, the provenance information documents an object’s origins from the time it was created until the date when it found its way into the collection. It contains the following details, provided they are known:
The successive ownership records are separated from each other by a semicolon.
Gaps in the record of a provenance are indicated by the placeholder “…”. Unsupported information is listed in square brackets.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please contact the museum at .