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Join us on Wednesday December 16th at 2 p.m. for a fun filled session of Art Exploration Teen Edition where we will learn even more about the art of Rachel Ruysch!

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Who was Rachel Ruysch?

Rachel Ruysch was a Dutch artist during the 17th and 18th centuries who specialized in richly detailed still-life paintings that commanded high prices. She did what very few artists at the time were able to do which was to achieve international fame during her lifetime.

Early Life 

Rachel Ruysch was born June 3, 1664 in The Netherlands to a wealthy family who had had close ties with artistic and scientific communities that allowed her the freedom that most women did not have of her time to pursue a career in the arts.

A Father’s Influence 

Rachel Ruysch’s father, Frederik Ruysch, was an eminent scientist and professor of anatomy and botany. He owned a vast collection of rare natural history specimens, which Rachel helped catalogue and record. 

He encouraged her in the development of her artistic talents and observation skills that would lead to renderings of plants and flowers. At the age fifteen, Ruysch began an apprenticeship with famous still life painter Willem van Aelst. By eighteen, she was already producing her first still life paintings and starting to establish her long and successful career.

A Long Career 

When Rachel was twenty nine  she married the portrait painter Juriaen Pool in 1693. Ruysch moved with him to The Hague, where they both joined the Guild of St. Luke—a professional artists’ organization that regulated the sales and promotion of artwork in the city—and continued their work for the elector Palatine, Johann Wilhelm von der Pfalz. While Ruysch’s career flourished, she also bore 10 children. Despite her responsibilities, she was remarkably prolific, producing more than 250 paintings over seven decades. Her works were in great demand, and she achieved widespread fame and international recognition. She died at the age of 86 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 1750. 

In 1999 a painting by Ruysch was discovered in a farmhouse in Normandy and was sold at auction for $508,000.

Flowers on a Stone 

Flowers on a Stone 

Flower Still Life

Flower Still Life

Flower Still Life

Flowers, Fruit and Insects

Flower Still Life

Flower Still Life

Resources

If you enjoyed this glimpse into Rachel Ruysch and her art and would like to learn more join us for Art Exporantion on December 16th at 2pm and get to follow along with a fun Rachel Ruysch inspired art project. 

If you want to know more explore these fun titles:

Art: an A-Z guide by Shirley Greenway