Part of the furniture

Was at the Rijksmuseum monday before last, with the little girl. She wanted to see the renovated building and the NightWatch she’d seen on TV. I wanted to reconnect to a lot of Dutch history. So we went, stood in line, and were allowed in via the new entrance. Which is much nicer than the old one. I also admire the choice to show paintings surrounded by objects from the same period. This sort of puts painting  back where it belongs  – a painting is part of the furniture, really.

Being tulip-mad, I went and gaped at some flower still-lifes. Took home with me tulips by Jacob Marrel (1614 – 1681, above) and Hans Bollongier (ca. 1598 – 1672, below). Both specialised in portraits of tulips in bloom – the Semper Augustus and its contemporaries. Both Marrel and Bollongier put flowers together that never meet in real life, for anemones, roses and carnations do not bloom at the same time. Flowers are thought to refer to the transience of earthly matters – morality on a small square.

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