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Still Life with Fruit and Flowers

1824 Cornelius de Beet Born: Amsterdam, Netherlands Died: Baltimore, Maryland 1840 oil on wood 19 3/4 x 24 1/8 in. (50.2 x 61.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase 1979.148 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 3rd Floor, 5A

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.


Still life - flower - rose

Still life - flower - tulip

Still life - fruit - berry

Still life - fruit - cantaloupe

Still life - fruit - grape

Still life - fruit - peach

Still life - vegetable - corn


paint - oil