For the Summer bouquet, McQueens Flowers Head of Events, Gina Hardy chose ‘Still life with peaches and hazelnuts’ by Dutch Master, Michiel van Huysum as her creative influence.
Dr Rachel Sloan, Assistant Curator of Works on Paper - shares her insight on 'Still life with peaches and hazelnuts' -
“This exquisite watercolour by Michiel van Huysum, one of the members of a dynasty of Dutch painters who specialised in still life, seems made to appeal to both a botanist and an art-lover. The peaches, still attached to their branches, and the hazelnuts, still enclosed in their husks, are observed in meticulous detail and with a skillful handling of contrasting colour. The holes eaten into the leaves by insects not only emphasise the individuality of the plants, they also recall the tradition of the vanitas - a type of still life whose symbolism highlights the fleeting and fragile nature of life.”
Peaches and Hazelnuts by renowned Dutch Master, Michiel Van Huysum
Drawn to the simplicity of the still life, Gina explains why it captured her imagination -
“My initial impression of this pretty still life by Van Huysum was its sweet simplicity. However, as I spent a little longer taking it in, I was struck by its depth of colour - despite it being largely created in one palette. These quite specific hues instantly reminded me of some very special early summer floral varieties - the deep blush of the peach for example is akin to the quite gorgeous shade of Fritillaria Aurora (the structural stem found in the bouquet) while the more subtle tones of the hazelnuts are embodied by the wonderfully frilly coffee Lisianthus. With plenty of warmth, I was keen to compliment the blooms with some refreshing Duchesse Nemo Peonies - a particularly gorgeous variety of this ever-popular flower.”
The Peaches and Cream Bouquet