Details: Paul Theodor van Brussel (Dutch, 1754-1795) A Still life of summer flowers, roses, carnations, tulips and peonies in a terra cotta figural urn on a stone ledge with a nest of eggs and with butterflies Oil on canvas Canvas size: 28″ x 25″; framed size: 25 1/4″ x 31 1/4″ Signed l.r.: P.T. van Brussel Paul Theodor van Brussel’s opulent bouquet typifies the late Dutch style in flower painting. The magnificent flowers cascade over the plinth upon which they are arranged, leading the viewers eye to the nest of eggs unsteadily perched at the edge of the stone ledge. Each sumptuous bloom sways at the end of an elegantly meandering stem, stimulating visual interest and creating an ever-moving composition. Yet within this image of perfection is hidden reality. The fly and butterfly remind us of the transience of natural beauty while at the same time giving the composition vitality. Born at Zuid Polsbroek, Holland, Brussel was a pupil of Jan Augustini at Haarlem. His first employment was in designing and painting wallpapers, but after his marriage in 1774, the artist turned to the creation of fruit and flower paintings. As can be seen in this example, he found inspiration in the works of Jan van Huysum. Brussel later lived at Amsterdam where he died at the age of forty-one, it is said by drowning.