Brush and watercolor in red, green, and yellow with white heightening or grey wash on antique laid cream paper
Sheet: 30.2 x 19.9 cm (11 7/8 x 7 13/16 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 2019.1
According to Christian legend, carnations appeared when the Virgin Mary shed tears as Jesus carried the cross, thus the flower’s traditional association with Mother’s Day.
Still-life painting began in the Northern Netherlands (present-day Holland) around the turn of the 1600s. Still-life painter Balthasar van der Ast made this precise botanical study of a pink carnation as a reference that he could add later to a painting of an elaborate bouquet of flowers. Van der Ast inscribed the name “The Polish Cap,” on the sheet to suggest that the flower came from foreign lands.
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