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Paintings

Flowers in a vase

Product ID : 1594189


Galleon Product ID 1594189
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Description

Watercolour, gouache and gum arabic, on vellum laid onto a wooden panel, signed lower right "J:A: Simson. fecit 1745". Sheet size: 22 1/2 x 16 3/4 inches. Carved 18th century frame, regilded. A delightful tour-de-force on vellum by an 18th century English botanical artist working in the Flemish style.Simson is a rare example of an English botanical artist working in the Flemish or Dutch style, perhaps best exemplified by his contemporary Jan van Huysum. Simson's immediate contemporary in England, Georg Dionysius Ehret, painted with an overriding concern for scientific accuracy; Simson's ideal, aptly shown with this watercolour on vellum, was to create an aesthetically pleasing composition while still paying due attention to the accurate depiction of his subjects. The composition of the present work is masterful: the fluted vase stands in shadowy recess, some rose petals have fallen to the marbled shelf and are being investigated by a glistening green iridescent beetle. The beetle, representing the untamed natural world, forms a contrast to the formal man-made arrangement of the flowers in the vase. The flowers are an opulent extravaganza of colour and texture: the Susiana iris being the most dramatic bloom whose spectactularly speckled petals are balanced by the butter yellow of the day-lily, whilst the whole composition is beautifully lit by a soft morning light causing the remaining dew-drops from the fresh-picked flowers to stand out. Simson's work is known from two other still-lifes in the Broughton Collection in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. Both of these undated works are in a landscape format and are mounted on panels of oak veneer.Fitzwilliam Museum, A First selection of Flower Drawings from the Broughton Collection (1974) item 32.