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A Hanging Bouquet of Flowers

Abraham Mignonprobably 1665/1670

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Abraham Mignon united this sumptuous floral piece through the free-flowing rhythms of flowers, fruits, and grains, all tied together with a blue satin bow. The various shapes and vivid colors complement one another with easy naturalness, proof of Mignon’s exquisite sense of design. Paintings of hanging bouquets had their origins in the Catholic church’s practice of decorating altars with garlands of live flowers. Mignon’s stunning array of textures certainly validates an early biographer’s observation that the artist was "especially diligent." �After training in his native Germany, Mignon moved to Utrecht where he probably worked in the studio of Jan Davidsz de Heem (1606–1684), who resided in Utrecht from 1667 to 1672, before returning to Antwerp. Mignon consequently adopted De Heem's "Flemish" taste for rich color and complex design.

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