National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Felton Bequest, 1934
This digital record has been made available on NGV Collection Online through the generous support of Digitisation Champion Ms Carol Grigor through Metal Manufactures Limited
17th & 18th Century Decorative Arts & Paintings Gallery Level 2, NGV International
The Flemish artist Jean François van Dael started out painting portraits, decorative and religious subjects, but his career changed direction when he met the flower painter Gerard van Spaendonck in Paris, and became his best pupil. Van Dael’s glowing and minutely finished nature studies were greatly admired by Napoleon’s consorts, Joséphine and Marie Louise. In 1810 the Louvre director Vivant-Denon wrote to the emperor of Fleming’s peerless talent: ‘As for the art of painting animals flower and fruit … Redouté and van Dael have matched the ancient Flemish painters Berghem, van der Does and van Huysum and surpassed all the others’.