Flower Still Life


In art history most flower compositions are not painted after an actual bouquet, simply for a simple reason that not all types of flowers bloom together. Artists were therefore forced to make sketches after the diverse flowers and to arrange them in a composition afterwards. However, most compositions that Sluijters made are painted after actual flower arrangements. There is an anecdote that every bouquet that came in his house first was brought to his studio, so Sluijters could paint it.

This watercolour shows a cheerful still life in a moderate expressionist style. Sluijters roughly set out the composition with pencil, later filling in the different colour fields. A white tablecloth covers a table; on the table several items are placed. An earthenware water can with a Dutch ‘Boerenbont’-like motive and a bowl with fruit on the right side, some purple prunes and a fruit bowl on a stand on the left. In the centre of the composition Sluijters placed a blue glass bottle, in which pink roses and peonies or rhododendrons are placed, alternated with green leaves. For a colourist like Sluijters, flowers were of course a perfect subject for his expressive style and use of vivid colour.


Private collection, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jan Sluijters

b. 17.12.1881
s-Hertogenbosch, The Netherlands

d. 08.05.1957
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Jan Sluijters, together with Dutch painters Leo Gestel and Piet Mondriaan, belongs to the first generation of ‘modern’ painters in the Netherlands. He received his artistic training at the Amsterdam Art Academy in 1901, and won the renowned Prix de Rome four years later, a prestigious award which supports young artists. Sluijters visited Paris (1904-1907), where he was introduced to the . . .
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more work by Jan Sluijters

Flower Still Life with Tulips and Amaryllises

Reclining Nude on a Sofa

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Flower Still Life

The Swan Lake