Jan van Huysum was a painter from Amsterdam, working primarily in still-life depictions of flowers and landscapes. He trained early on with his father, Justus van Huysum the Elder (1659 – 1716, a painter of flowers and decorator of vases. As noted in the Getty Museum Biography of Jan van Huysum, he was considered the “phoenix of all flower painters.” Huysum also painted some mythological subjects and one Self-Portrait.
Along with his contemporary, Rachel Ruysch (1664 – 1750), Huysum was a leading Dutch flower painter, highly influential into the later 18th century in Europe. His reputation was that of a perfectionist; known for delaying commissions if he could not get the flower arrangement just right and in season. His works often used soft, light colors in the floral, set against equally bright backgrounds. Though he experimented some; as seen in his work now in the Uffizi Gallery, Vase of Flowers, where his use of rare flowers set against a dark background illuminate their colors boldly.
Huysum was influenced by French painting some, but adhered to his Dutch and Flemish traditions (Kren and Marx, Web Gallery of Art). Huysum’s uncles, Justus the Younger (1684 – 1707), Michiel (1700s – 1759) and Jacob (1687 – 1740), were also painters in England.
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