Vase with Poppies
21" x 24.5"
This skillfully painted Vase with Poppies was created with oils on canvas. The vibrant red poppies contrast the cool blues and greens of the vase. Various stages of life are captured, from some blooms just beginning to open to others which droop with age. The painting is signed by Dutch artist G.V.D. Meer. The hand of the artist is visible, and one can view the individual brushstrokes which compose this looser, sketchier style. The frame is elegantly gilded over red bolen, accentuating the natural beauty of the flowers. Moreover, it lends the composition a warm, glowing effect. The late 16th century saw the rise of still-lifes as a distinct genre of painting. This trend primarily originated in the Netherlands. Still-life compositions often included food, plants, dead animals, instruments, and flowers. Although still-life paintings ranked lowest in the hierarchy of the genres, these compositions were extremely popular amongst buyers and collectors and have continued to evolve over the centuries to reflect the tastes of the art market.
At this time in the Netherlands, the country chose to remain neutral during World War I. This decision arose partly due to a strict policy of neutrality in international affairs which started in 1830, and partly due to the belief that the country’s geographic position between both powers would assure its safety. When war was declared between the British Empire, France, and Nazi Germany in late 1939, the German government issued a guarantee of neutrality to the Netherlands. This agreement was broken on May 10, 1940, when Germany entered the country without a formal declaration of war, to move towards Belgium and Luxembourg. The Dutch officially surrendered on May 15, leading to Nazi occupation.