Flowers in Terra-cotta Vase

Enlarge image

Jan van Os (Dutch, 1744–1808)
Flowers in Terra-cotta Vase, after 1780
Oil on panel
35 1/8 × 27 5/8 in. (89.22 × 70.17 cm)
Layton Art Collection Inc., Gift of Frederick Layton L111
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Currently on View

In creating this lush arrangement—an impossible array of flowers that bloom from early spring to late summer—Jan van Os was following a long tradition of Dutch flower painters. Flower painting was a genre that had particular significance in the Netherlands, a country famous for its flowers, such as the tulip, which features prominently here. Van Os’s style is marked by an extraordinary verisimilitude (or the appearance of being real), which was intended to entrance the viewer. Here, our eye is captured not only by the abundant blooms but also by the myriad details such as the bird’s nest, the insects, and the delicate droplets of water.

Publication History
Kelly, Chelsea Emelie. People's Choice: Your Top 25 Works of Art in the Collection. Milwaukee Art Museum: Under the Wings, April 5, 2013.

Eastberg, John C. and Eric Vogel. Layton’s Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection 1888–2013. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Collection, Inc., 2013, pp. 131, 134–35, 180-83, and 457, color pl. 13, p. 181, color illus. p. 134, color detail p. 182-3, photograph of installation, p. 135.

Rudolph, William Keyse. From the Collection—Severin Roesen's "Still Life." Milwaukee Art Museum: Underthe Wings, December 27, 2011.

Milwaukee Art Museum. Building a Masterpiece: Milwaukee Art Museum. New York: Hudson Hill Press, 2001, p. 77, color illus.

The Milwaukee Journal, April 3, 1988, Wisconsin, a Special Section, p. 12, color illus, NewsBank America’s Newspapers, (accessed August 24, 2017).

Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 64, color illus. p. 64.

Vogel, Ann H., ed. Focus: The Flower in Art; Selections from the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 24, color illus. front cover (detail) and back cover, b/w illus. p. 4.

Layton Art Gallery. Catalogue of the Layton Art Gallery. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Gallery, 1921, p. 46, cat. 111.

Eldridge, E. C. Visit to Layton’s Art Gallery Wednesday Afternoon: Lecture on Art Works in the Gallery. St. Louis and Canadian Photographer 24, no. 8 (August 1900): 369.

Works of Art: How to See and Enjoy Them. Wilson's Photographic Magazine 37, no. 524 (August 1900): 373.
Exhibition History
Exchange Loan to Museum Fine Arts, Houston, October, 2000–April 2001.

Focus: The Flower in Art; Selections from the Permanent Collection, Milwaukee Art Museum, July 10–August 17, 1986.

Riverside High School 1922–1959.

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.