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date: 29 October 2020

Ruysch, Rachellocked

(bapt The Hague, June 3, 1664; d Amsterdam, Oct 12, 1750).
  • Peter Mitchell

Extract

(bapt The Hague, June 3, 1664; d Amsterdam, Oct 12, 1750).

Dutch painter. She specialized in still-lifes of flowers and fruits and still-lifes in outdoor settings, the large majority signed, with dated examples from 1681 to 1747 providing a sound chronology. She is widely regarded as the most gifted woman in the history of the subject (see fig.) and among the greatest exponents of either sex. Ruysch came from a distinguished and wealthy background. Her father, Frederik Ruysch (1638–1731), was an eminent professor of anatomy and botany, who published his fine collection of natural curiosities. He was also a gifted amateur painter. Her mother was the daughter of the architect Pieter Post. At the age of 15 Ruysch became a pupil of Willem van Aelst until his death in 1683. In 1693 she married the portrait painter Juriaen Pool (1665–1745), a happy union that produced ten children. In 1709 the couple moved to The Hague, where both artists joined the Guild of St Luke. From ...

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