Trompe-l’Oeil Still Life with a Flower Garland and a Curtain, (Dutch) 1658



Adrien van der Spelt’s splendid garland displays about 20 floral varieties—including a tulip, a 16th-century import from Persia that would eventually become an icon of Dutch culture. The deceptively realistic blue curtain, painted by Frans van Mieris, refers to the historical strategy for protecting paintings but also to the tale of Parhassius, a skilled Greek artist who fooled his rival into attempting to pull back a curtain painted onto one of his pictures. Examples of collaborative works by Dutch artists from this period are rare, perhaps due to the intense competition created by the region’s thriving art market.


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