The Overturned Bouquet, Abraham Mignon, 1660 - 1679
The ultimate challenge facing a 17th-century still-life painter was to render various materials in a convincing fashion. Everything had to appear real: a contemporary aptly coined this as ‘semblance without being’. Abraham Mignon was a master of such seeming realism. In this still life the cat playing with a mousetrap has upset a vase of flowers. Amongst the tulips, irises, poppies, and peonies can be discerned ants, spiders, caterpillars, and snails.