The Dutch Golden Age Painter
Today is the birthday of Maria van Oosterwijck who was born on this day in 1630.
Oosterwijck was an incredible Dutch Golden Age painter, specializing in flower paintings and still life. Her art was rich, vividly, detailed, and incredibly realistic. Her still lifes of flowers in ornate vases were often set against a dark background and featured flowers like sunflowers, roses, carnations, hyacinths, parrot tulips, berries, and her most famous paintings included a red admiral butterfly.
In her 40's, her studio was opposite another flower painter by the name of Willem van Aelst. He attempted to woo Maria, but her heart belonged really only to her art. When he kept asking her, she finally agreed to marry him if he could prove that he could match her work ethic - he needed to paint every day, for 10 hours a day, for a year... only then would she marry him. Well, he couldn't do it, and Maria remained single throughout her life.
Oosterwijck's paintings were purchased by Kings and Emperors after she smartly secured an agent to market her work.