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Rachelle
Ruysch
Netherlands 
1664−1750
Biography and information
 
Rachel Ruisch (niderl. Rachel Ruysch; June 3, 1664, The Hague — August 12, 1750, Amsterdam) — the master of flower still life in the Dutch golden era, the first woman accepted into the Artists Guild of The Hague.

Features of the artist Rachel Ruysh:For 65 years, wrote only flower still lifes. Understanding botany, she achieved amazing accuracy in the image of plants. In the 17th century, still lifes in Holland were at the peak of popularity — there were about a hundred artists who grazed on the lawn of this genre: Ruysch managed to find his own style, not get lost, become famous and earn a lot of money.

Famous paintings by Rachel Ruysh: "Roses, convict poppies and other flowers in a vase on a stone shelf", "Earth in the forest", "Fruits, flowers, reptiles and insects at the edge of the forest", "Bouquet in a glass vase".

Rachel was the first of 12 children of Frederick Ruysch, anatomist, scientist, restless person, who became the author of many scientific discoveries and lived 92 years, to certainly do everything he had planned.

Rachel was born in The Hague. When she was 3 years old, the family moved to Amsterdam. Her father was offered to teach anatomy to students and become the director of the newly founded botanical garden, Orthus Botanicus. Father deserves a separate chapter.

The father of the artist. Scandalous doctor and friend of Peter I

In the Ruysch family, young people had a choice — a career as a lawyer or doctor. For a start, Frederick Ruysch learned the skill of a pharmacist, but already at that time his guiding star was making itself felt — he became interested in anatomy. At the end of the 17th century, without being a physician, it was not easy to get access to the bodies of the dead, so the resourceful pharmacist made friends with the grave-diggers and studied the bodies right at the cemetery.

Over time, Frederick Ruysch became a doctor and a scientist — he proved the existence of valves in the lymphatic vessels, opened the vomeronasal organ in the nose (perhaps with the help of it people catch the smell of pheromones), but the most famous discovery is a new way of embalming bodies "I processed them with the help of my art of embalming in such a way that parts of the bodies would remain intact not for some fifty years, but for several centuries".

Ruysch considered embalming an art, and anatomy a damnably attractive science, which is also useful for physicians and patients (1, 2). In order to popularize, attract intrigued spectators and unexpected faints, he opened a room in which he demonstrated his collections. A feature of his work was the creation of "anatomical still lifes" - for example, a heart enclosed in a glass vessel, next to which a twig or a flower swam in a secret solution; alcoholic babies with a smile, like sleeping; trees from blood vessels. He sincerely wondered (or pretended) when his works were called eerie and frightening, he himself considered them beautiful and "Affirming the victory of science over dying".

People from all over Europe came to the "museum" of Ruysch. In 1697, when he heard about this "eighth wonder of the world," Russian Tsar Peter I bestowed it there. He immediately realized that he had found a soul mate and that he was in front of him as a restless and passionate science lover. He attended the lectures of the professor, had long secret conversations with him — they parted good friends. Between them correspondence and shipment of all kinds of treasures began — Frederick sent the king insects from India and asked in reply to send "Butterflies and snakes from Azov, different animals and fish".

The collection grew and already occupied five rooms, and once Ruysch decided to attach his creation to reliable, kind and, most importantly, solvent hands. In 1716 he sold his collection to Peter I for huge money — 30,000 guilders. Ruysch prepared to send his work, which collected 50 years: 2000 jars of drugs on human anatomy, 1179 samples of mammals, reptiles and insects, 259 birds, canned dry, 2 cases with a herbarium and many boxes with butterflies, sea animals and shells. This collection became the basis of the Museum of the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg. Some works by Frederick still preserved.

Such a man was the father of the artist Rachel Ruysch, purposeful, persistent, pragmatic and always looking for something new that can please an inquiring mind.

Discovery of talent and teacher legend Willem van Aalst


The artistic talent of his daughter Rachel Frederick Ruysch noticed when she helped him in the design of herbaria — made sketches. It quickly became clear that Rachel was very good at portraying flowers, plants, all sorts of small reptiles and insects.

She was 14 years old, she was pious, rich, the ghost of marriage did not disturb her bright head, and it was decided to develop a talent! At that time it looked a bit strange and, perhaps, scandalous, but in the family, where the museum with "anatomical still-life" occupies half the house, other rules were in force. And again the light of a guiding star — the family lived on the Flower Channel, and their neighbor was the famous artist, the master of still life Willem van Aalst. Just in case, two daughters were given for training at once, in the hope that younger Anna will also have abilities.

Rachel was very attentive and persistent. Van Aalst taught her to give volume and liveliness to the colors in the picture, to arrange them in such a way as to give the impression of lightness and creative disorder.

Until the teacher’s death in 1683, Rachelle honed her talent and found new methods of plant imaging. And, perhaps, even then it became clear that she would not give up painting, like many ladies from high society. At the age of 18, she began to sign her paintings, she was immediately called "the child prodigy from Holland" and "our delicate heroine of art".

At that time, "aspiration for nature" reigned in Holland: the inhabitants of the cities planted vegetable gardens, planted plants, and laid out gardens and parks. The country has become the largest importer of new and exotic plants from around the world. Flowers, in which they had previously only seen medicinal properties, began to be valued for beauty and fragrance. Motley or very popular "Flaming" tulipswith stripes of contrasting colors on the petals. In fact, the color was caused by a virus, and the life of these flowers was short, which made them even more valuable and desirable in the eyes of the Dutch.

Ruysh with her knowledge of botany and a rigorous approach to painting corresponded to the general mood of the country, and this made her popular.

Successful family union of still lifes and portraits


At the age of 29, Rachel married a portrait painter Jurida Paul. He was a year younger than his wife, but he had already managed to sip grief and despair. His father and mother died early and he spent some time at the shelter. His paintings have survived to the present day, including self-portraitwhere he depicted himself in "orphan" clothes — in a red jacket in blue sleeves. Now in the building of his former shelter is the Historical Museum of Amsterdam, where you can see this canvas. In addition to painting, he was engaged in the trade in lace and was close to the court.

The family Ruysh-Paul was born 10 children, three died immediately, and another four — in adolescence and young age. Rachel continued to write always, even in the most difficult periods of life. Once Lawyer Paul lost the favor of the court, and this significantly reduced income. The money that the artist received for her work made her the wet-nurse of the family.

Success! All at the feet of Rachel — the royal court, collectors and poets


In 1701, Rachel became the first woman painter, adopted by the fraternity of artists The Hague. The next step in a creative career is the position of court painter Johann Wilhelm, the Elector of the Palatinate of Palatinate, from 1708 to 1716. He was an ardent admirer of art and a caring employer — he freed Rachel from being at the court in Düsseldorf, and she still lived in Amsterdam. She was paid a scholarship and, under the terms of cooperation, she painted one painting a year for the elector’s collection.

In addition to remote court work, Rachel had his own agent, and she received orders for paintings from foreign collectors.

And in 1723 Rachel intervened in the life of a happy occasion. She won 75,000 guilders in the Lottery of the Northern Netherlands — a huge amount, she decided to solve all financial problems of the family.

At that time, the artist’s husband and her sister, Anna, abandoned the painting; Ruysch herself no longer needed work to feed her family. But, being the daughter of her father, she found the secret of longevity in permanent work.

Last picture Rachel signed in 1747 year. The artist was 83, she was widowed, only her three sons survived. And then she stopped writing, 65 years after the first experiments. In the year of her death she was presented with a gift — a collection of poems about her work "Poems for the beautiful artist-craftswoman Rachel Ruysch". She became the first painter in Holland to receive this honor.

Of the 250 well-known canvases of Ruysh, only about a hundred paintings have survived to our time. Like the work of her father, they amaze even after several centuries.

Author: Alexandra Berezhnaya
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In the 16th century, the world of art belonged to men, but the fairer sex also left its bright mark in history. At some point, their names were on everyone’s lips, and admiring male artists accepted them to the Academies of Art, breaking their own rules. How did these ladies manage to become famous artists?

Helen Sidash
Helen Sidash
, March 11, 2016 05:29 PM 1
Original   Auto-Translated
So nice to read about talented women with good fortune. Pure pleasure. Thank!
This text was originally published in Russian and automatically translated to English.
Ela Mildvorf
, June 22, 2017 01:59 AM 1
Original   Auto-Translated
Discovered Judith Leister - such cheerful pictures!
This text was originally published in Russian and automatically translated to English.
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Rachelle Ruysch
biography has been updated
Rachel Ruisch (niderl. Rachel Ruysch; June 3, 1664, The Hague - August 12, 1750, Amsterdam) - the master of flower still life in the Dutch golden era, the first woman accepted into the Artists Guild of The Hague.

Features of the artist Rachel Ruysh:For 65 years, wrote only flower still lifes. Understanding botany, she achieved amazing accuracy in the image of plants. In the 17th century, still lifes in Holland were at the peak of popularity - there were about a hundred artists who grazed on the lawn of this genre: Ruysch managed to find his own style, not get lost, become famous and earn a lot of money.

Famous paintings by Rachel Ruysh: "Roses, convict poppies and other flowers in a vase on a stone shelf", "Earth in the forest", "Fruits, flowers, reptiles and insects at the edge of the forest", "Bouquet in a glass vase".

Rachel was the first of 12 children of Frederick Ruysch, anatomist, scientist, restless person, who became the author of many scientific discoveries and lived 92 years, to certainly do everything he had planned.

Rachel was born in The Hague. When she was 3 years old, the family moved to Amsterdam. Her father was offered to teach anatomy to students and become the director of the newly founded botanical garden, Orthus Botanicus. Father deserves a separate chapter.

The father of the artist. Scandalous doctor and friend of Peter I

In the Ruysch family, young people had a choice - a career as a lawyer or doctor. For a start, Frederick Ruysch learned the skill of a pharmacist, but already at that time his guiding star was making itself felt - he became interested in anatomy. At the end of the 17th century, without being a physician, it was not easy to get access to the bodies of the dead, so the resourceful pharmacist made friends with the grave-diggers and studied the bodies right at the cemetery.

Over time, Frederick Ruysch became a doctor and a scientist - he proved the existence of valves in the lymphatic vessels, opened the vomeronasal organ in the nose (perhaps with the help of it people catch the smell of pheromones), but the most famous discovery is a new way of embalming bodies “I processed them with the help of my art of embalming in such a way that parts of the bodies would remain intact not for some fifty years, but for several centuries”.

Ruysch considered embalming an art, and anatomy a damnably attractive science, which is also useful for physicians and patients (1, 2). In order to popularize, attract intrigued spectators and unexpected faints, he opened a room in which he demonstrated his collections. A feature of his work was the creation of "anatomical still lifes" - for example, a heart enclosed in a glass vessel, next to which a twig or a flower swam in a secret solution; alcoholic babies with a smile, like sleeping; trees from blood vessels. He sincerely wondered (or pretended) when his works were called eerie and frightening, he himself considered them beautiful and "Affirming the victory of science over dying".

People from all over Europe came to the “museum” of Ruysch. In 1697, when he heard about this “eighth wonder of the world,” Russian Tsar Peter I bestowed it there. He immediately realized that he had found a soul mate and that he was in front of him as a restless and passionate science lover. He attended the lectures of the professor, had long secret conversations with him — they parted good friends. Between them correspondence and shipment of all kinds of treasures began - Frederick sent the king insects from India and asked in reply to send "Butterflies and snakes from Azov, different animals and fish".

The collection grew and already occupied five rooms, and once Ruysch decided to attach his creation to reliable, kind and, most importantly, solvent hands. In 1716 he sold his collection to Peter I for huge money - 30,000 guilders. Ruysch prepared to send his work, which collected 50 years: 2000 jars of drugs on human anatomy, 1179 samples of mammals, reptiles and insects, 259 birds, canned dry, 2 cases with a herbarium and many boxes with butterflies, sea animals and shells. This collection became the basis of the Museum of the Kunstkamera in St. Petersburg. Some works by Frederick still preserved.

Such a man was the father of the artist Rachel Ruysch, purposeful, persistent, pragmatic and always looking for something new that can please an inquiring mind.

Discovery of talent and teacher legend Willem van Aalst


The artistic talent of his daughter Rachel Frederick Ruysch noticed when she helped him in the design of herbaria - made sketches. It quickly became clear that Rachel was very good at portraying flowers, plants, all sorts of small reptiles and insects.

She was 14 years old, she was pious, rich, the ghost of marriage did not disturb her bright head, and it was decided to develop a talent! At that time it looked a bit strange and, perhaps, scandalous, but in the family, where the museum with “anatomical still-life” occupies half the house, other rules were in force. And again the light of a guiding star - the family lived on the Flower Channel, and their neighbor was the famous artist, the master of still life Willem van Aalst. Just in case, two daughters were given for training at once, in the hope that younger Anna will also have abilities.

Rachel was very attentive and persistent. Van Aalst taught her to give volume and liveliness to the colors in the picture, to arrange them in such a way as to give the impression of lightness and creative disorder.

Until the teacher's death in 1683, Rachelle honed her talent and found new methods of plant imaging. And, perhaps, even then it became clear that she would not give up painting, like many ladies from high society. At the age of 18, she began to sign her paintings, she was immediately called “the child prodigy from Holland” and “our delicate heroine of art”.

At that time, “aspiration for nature” reigned in Holland: the inhabitants of the cities planted vegetable gardens, planted plants, and laid out gardens and parks. The country has become the largest importer of new and exotic plants from around the world. Flowers, in which they had previously only seen medicinal properties, began to be valued for beauty and fragrance. Motley or very popular "Flaming" tulipswith stripes of contrasting colors on the petals. In fact, the color was caused by a virus, and the life of these flowers was short, which made them even more valuable and desirable in the eyes of the Dutch.

Ruysh with her knowledge of botany and a rigorous approach to painting corresponded to the general mood of the country, and this made her popular.

Successful family union of still lifes and portraits


At the age of 29, Rachel married a portrait painter Jurida Paul. He was a year younger than his wife, but he had already managed to sip grief and despair. His father and mother died early and he spent some time at the shelter. His paintings have survived to the present day, including self-portraitwhere he depicted himself in "orphan" clothes - in a red jacket in blue sleeves. Now in the building of his former shelter is the Historical Museum of Amsterdam, where you can see this canvas. In addition to painting, he was engaged in the trade in lace and was close to the court.

The family Ruysh-Paul was born 10 children, three died immediately, and another four - in adolescence and young age. Rachel continued to write always, even in the most difficult periods of life. Once Lawyer Paul lost the favor of the court, and this significantly reduced income. The money that the artist received for her work made her the wet-nurse of the family.

Success! All at the feet of Rachel - the royal court, collectors and poets


In 1701, Rachel became the first woman painter, adopted by the fraternity of artists The Hague. The next step in a creative career is the position of court painter Johann Wilhelm, the Elector of the Palatinate of Palatinate, from 1708 to 1716. He was an ardent admirer of art and a caring employer — he freed Rachel from being at the court in Düsseldorf, and she still lived in Amsterdam. She was paid a scholarship and, under the terms of cooperation, she painted one painting a year for the elector's collection.

In addition to remote court work, Rachel had his own agent, and she received orders for paintings from foreign collectors.

And in 1723 Rachel intervened in the life of a happy occasion. She won 75,000 guilders in the Lottery of the Northern Netherlands - a huge amount, she decided to solve all financial problems of the family.

At that time, the artist's husband and her sister, Anna, abandoned the painting; Ruysch herself no longer needed work to feed her family. But, being the daughter of her father, she found the secret of longevity in permanent work.

Last picture Rachel signed in 1747 year. The artist was 83, she was widowed, only her three sons survived. And then she stopped writing, 65 years after the first experiments. In the year of her death she was presented with a gift - a collection of poems about her work “Poems for the beautiful artist-craftswoman Rachel Ruysch”. She became the first painter in Holland to receive this honor.

Of the 250 well-known canvases of Ruysh, only about a hundred paintings have survived to our time. Like the work of her father, they amaze even after several centuries.

Author: Alexandra Berezhnaya
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Artworks by the artist
60 artworks total
Rachelle Ruysch. Land in the forest
3
Land in the forest
1687, 47×40 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Roses, tulips, sunflowers and other flowers with insects in a glass vase
8
Roses, tulips, sunflowers and other flowers with insects in a glass vase
1710, 89×71 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Summer flowers in a vase
8
Summer flowers in a vase
1716, 56.5×48.6 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Flowers in a vase
1
Flowers in a vase
1690, 47.6×40 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Still life with flowers on a marble table
3
Still life with flowers on a marble table
1716, 48.5×35.9 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Roses, marigolds, hyacinths and other flowers on a marble ledge
4
Roses, marigolds, hyacinths and other flowers on a marble ledge
1723, 38×31 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Bouquet in a glass vase
1
Bouquet in a glass vase
1703, 85×68 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Still life
4
Still life
1711, 44×60 cm
Rachelle Ruysch. Fruit, flowers, reptiles and insects on the edge of the forest
0
Fruit, flowers, reptiles and insects on the edge of the forest
1716, 89×68.5 cm
View 60 artworks by the artist