Flowers in Terra-cotta Vase

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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. Entry posted April 5, 2013. (accessed October 28, 2014).

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

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

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.
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.