Nicolas Baudesson (School)

Still Life With Flowers

Nicolas Baudesson (School)

Still Life With Flowers

This early 18th-century French still life painting depicts flowers, including roses, arranged in a basket.

Produced during the Baroque period, these sumptuous blooms explode from a basket with radiant splendour - cramming the canvas with abundant vivacity. To appreciate the significance of this bountiful ensemble, we need to first consider the decadent environs of Louis XIV. At the Palace of Versailles, interiors were adorned with the most luxurious of fineries, he was a lover of the arts and encouraged artists to celebrate the grandeur of his Kingdom.

Still lifes of this period represent wealth, status and love but also hold an intellectually deeper meaning for those who wish to study them. A wilting flower, for example, often refers to the fleeting nature of life itself - a symbol of one’s own mortality. While red roses symbolise passion, and yellow roses refer to jealousy or infidelity.

French artist Nicolas Baudesson (1611-1680) was a master of this craft and many of his works were acquired by the King. His opulent floral displays are usually set against a dark background to add further contrast and a three-dimensional appearance. This piece is close to his style and, although probably produced in around 1700, after his death, it’s possibly by a close associate. His son, Jean François Baudesson (1640-1713), was also a notable still life painter.

Housed in a later gilt frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 21” x 17” / 53cm x 43cm
Year of creation: c. 1700
Condition: Artwork presents well. Craquelure but the paint is stable. Restorations. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.

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