Symbolism and emotion were the themes around which the organisers of Flowers of Desire compiled their presentation. In addition to numerous floral still lifes, this show features people with flowers. A moving example is A Dead Child Carried to Heaven by Two Angels by Nicolaes Maes, which was lent by Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder.
In this work, Maes created a new type of posthumous portrait, expressing grief for the premature loss of a child but also providing a measure of comfort in the thought that the innocent young soul was now in heaven. This painting was lent for an earlier exhibition, Pride and Joy, at the Frans Hals Museum in 2000.
Flora was the goddess of flowers and of spring. Sandro Botticelli (1344/45-1510) created a memorable depiction of her in his Primavera at the Galleria degli’Uffizi in Florence, but Rembrandt’s portrait of his wife Saskia as the floral goddess (1634, Hermitage, St Petersburg) is also famous.
The exhibition at the Noordbrabants Museum in Den Bosch runs from 24 January to 9 May 2004 and features Golden Age paintings, furniture, textiles and other objects that portray the theme of the show. The exhibition will be shown later at the Rijksmuseum Twenthe in Enschedé and the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden.
Hoogsteder & Hoogsteder lent eight works for the exhibition, including Portrait of a Young Woman as Flora by Jurriaen Ovens.
Flowers of Desire, Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch
24 January – 9 May 2004