Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1664-1750
Dutch painter. She specialized in still-lifes of flowers and fruits and still-lifes in outdoor settings, the large majority signed, with dated examples from 1681 to 1747 providing a sound chronology. She is widely regarded as the most gifted woman in the history of the subject and among the greatest exponents of either sex. Ruysch came from a distinguished and wealthy background. Her father, Frederik Ruysch (1638-1731), was an eminent professor of anatomy and botany, who published his fine collection of natural curiosities. He was also a gifted amateur painter. Her mother was the daughter of the architect Pieter Post. At the age of 15 Ruysch became a pupil of Willem van Aelst until his death in 1683. In 1693 she married the portrait painter Juriaen Pool (1665-1745), a happy union that produced ten children. In 1709 the couple moved to The Hague, where both artists joined the Guild of St Luke. From 1708 to 1713 they were both court painters to the Elector Palatine, John William, at D?sseldorf, for whom they continued to work until his death in 1716. In that year they returned to Amsterdam, where Ruysch continued working until at least the age of 83.