On an 18th century oil-planting of botanical interest
A few years ago Prof. Dr W. Martin, at the time director of the Gallery of prints and drawings at Leyden, drew my attention to an oilpainting at Prof. J. N. Bakhuizen van den Brink’s, 40 Rapenburg, Leyden. This painting (size 95 X 68 cm), which is owned by the Leyden University Fund, shows a peculiar group of flowering exotic plants, to which a few mushrooms, a snake, a lizard and some butterflies are added, and on the right side in the back-ground a view on a river or a lake. In the lower right hand corner the painting is signed Lau. Vinn. Prof. Martin concluded from this that it was one of the Haarlem painters Van der Vinne who made it. The most plausible inference seemed to look upon the senior Laurens van der Vinne (1658—1729), a well-known Dutch painter of flowers, as the maker. However, a closer investigation learnt that this was not correct. When Prof. Martin showed me the picture, I got the impression that I had seen a few of the drawings of the individual plants before. Looking through the plate collections of the “Rijksherbarium” it appeared that this impression was right. These collections, namely, contain water-colours of the 4 species of Proteaceae figured in the painting and moreover a water-colour of the specimen of Sprekelia formosissima. All these once belonged to the Leyden professor Adriaan van Royen. The water-colour of Sprekelia formosissima is signed “Laurens van der Vinne Pinxcit 1736”. It is quite probable that this beautiful drawing, together with those of the Proteaceae, were used by Van der Vinne in composing his picture. Besides, it became evident that it was not the senior but the junior Van der Vinne who must be considered the painter, as the former died already in 1729 and the painting must have been made in 1736 or later.
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van Ooststroom, S.J. (1946). On an 18th century oil-planting of botanical interest. Blumea. Supplement, 3(1), 120–121.