Jan van Huysum’s depictions of luxuriant flowers in classical vases reinvigorated still-life painting in the 18th century. Collectors admired the way he rendered flowers, fruit and insects with minute attention to detail: he applied his paint with delicate brushes - some might have only had a single hair. These were ideal for depicting the vein structure of a leaf or the translucency of a water droplet.
This is one of Van Huysum’s finest works executed on a dark background. He used strong contrasts of light and dark to suggest space and depth; the light shines on and around the flowers to give the bouquet a three-dimensional quality.