Jacob van Walscapelle
Dutch, 1644 ‑ 1727
Floral Still Life, 1681
Oil on canvas
40 1/4 × 35 3/16 in. (102.2 × 89.3 cm.)
Gift of Eleanor Bingham Miller and Barry Bingham Sr., in honor of Mary Caperton Bingham 1987.1
Tempus Fugit (Time Flies)
This large floral bouquet includes roses, tulips, irises, lilies, lilies of the valley, and crown fritillaria. Since these flowers do not bloom at the same time, this bouquet is the creation of the painter’s imagination. The artist probably composed this picture based on color drawings of individual types of flowers. Look closer, however, and you’ll notice other important details. Insects and creatures crawl and flit among the blooms, whose leaves are starting to wither and brown. The artist reminds us of the swift passage of time, that beauty fades, and all living things must perish.