Ambrosius Bosschaert the Younger
(Arnemuiden 1609-1645 Utrecht)
Dead frog with flies
Copper, 12.5 x 17.5 cm
Acquired in 1918; inv. 182
Eldest son of Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, this still-life painter pursued his father’s speciality: flowers and still lifes with fruit. A number of vanitas
paintings by Bosschaert are known, and it is to the latter category that this macabre picture, unique in the painter’s work, belongs. Executed in about 1630, the subject had precedents in the late sixteenth century, in meticulous studies of insects, flowers and animals, notably by Joris Hoefnagel and his son. The copper surface lends a pearly glint to the oil pigments, rendering the frog’s damp skin to perfection.