Dutch painter Rachel Ruysch, whose life and career straddled the seventeenth and eighteeth centuries, was renowned for her striking still life paintings of flowers, which occasionally featured fruit and crystal glassware.
Very often they featured insects as well, perhaps either to make them more true to nature or to intimate that the flowers and fruits portrayed were already so realistic they had attracted real insects.
Her compositions were set against black, a common approach for floral still life at the time, thought the backgrounds in her later paintings were often lighter.
Her works were intricately detailed, and presumably, botanically accurate; her father was an anatomist and botanist who illustrated his own catalog of specimens.
Ruysch was apprenticed to well known flower painter Willem van Aeist at age fifteen, and her early work very much shows his influence.
She married portrait artist Juriaen Pool, one of her sisters also married a painter and another, a maker of paints.