Friday, October 24, 2014


Early in the 17th century Flemish painter Jan Brueghel the Elder (1568-1625) pioneered the floral still life (as above). One of Brueghel's apprentices was Daniel Seghers (1590-1661), who also became a Jesuit and lived most of his life in an Antwerp monastery. Seghers made a specialty of the "floral garland" motif which Brueghel had originally invented. By the 1630s the garlands of Daniel Seghers were popular all across Europe. His paintings (as below) were not usually sold, but rather given by the Jesuit Order as gifts to royal and noble Catholic patrons. 

Artists other than Seghers himself would usually be commissioned to provide images for the hollow spaces inside the master's painted garlands.

Tulip-mania must have played a part in making Seghers such a success. The final picture, featuring many raucous tulips, was made as a tribute to his near-contemporary Nicolas Poussin (1594-1665).  It was painted in 1650-51 when Seghers was about sixty and Poussin closer to fifty-five. I wonder if Poussin himself ever saw it.