Cornelius de Beet, born Amsterdam, Netherlands ca. 1779-died Baltimore, MD 1840 Search this
oil on wood
19 3/4 x 24 1/8 in. (50.2 x 61.4 cm)
Luce Center Label:
The fruit and flowers in this painting symbolize nature's riches. In the center of the arrangement is a melon, which has been opened and will soon decay, a reminder of the fleeting nature of life. Cornelius de Beet's paintings reward careful looking, offering up delightful surprises such as the butterfly in this work. The artist was born and studied in Amsterdam, and this painting evokes his homeland, known for its long tradition of still-life painting. The parrot tulips in this image recall the tulip mania that led many Hollanders of the seventeenth century to bankrupt themselves speculating on the sale of exotic bulbs.