Watercolor and gouache
Overall: 31.1 x 21.1 cm (12 1/4 x 8 5/16 in.)
Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.133
In 17th-century Holland, some tulip bulbs were as expensive as a stately Amsterdam canal house.
This image of a tulip was made as part of a tulip book used as a grower’s marketing tool during the so-called tulip mania, a speculative bubble in 17th-century Holland, when ten tulip bulbs could cost more than a stately Amsterdam canal house. The striations on the tulip, which were caused by a virus in the bulb, made it especially valuable. Pieter Holsteyn II was one of many artists in the Netherlands at the time who specialized in botanical illustration.
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