Find, Learn, Price Art
Enjoy the comprehensive art database we've compiled since 1987
Membership Details
Images, sales charts, bios, signatures, 30 artist Alerts and more ...
Art auction records:  Millions of references for pricing research
Or, register for Free Alerts
To track 10 artists.

Already a member?  Sign in here

Ambrosius (AB) (The Elder) Bosschaert

 (1573 - 1621)
Ambrosius (AB) (The Elder) Bosschaert was active/lived in Belgium, Holland.  Ambrosius Bosschaert is known for floral still life painting.

Ambrosius (AB) (The Elder) Bosschaert

Biography from the Archives of askART

Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder (18 January 1573 - 1621) was a still life painter of the Dutch Golden Age*.

He was born in Antwerp, where he started his career, but he spent most of it in Middelburg (1587-1613), where he moved with his family because of the threat of religious persecution. He specialized in painting still lifes with flowers, which he signed with the monogram AB (the B in the A).  At the age of twenty-one, he joined the city's Guild of Saint Luke* and later became dean.  Not long after, Bosschaert had married and established himself as a leading figure in the fashionable floral painting genre.

He had three sons who all became flower painters; Ambrosius II, Johannes and Abraham. His brother-in-law Balthasar van der Ast also lived and worked in his workshop and moved with him on his travels. Bosschaert later worked in Amsterdam (1614), Bergen op Zoom (1615-1616), Utrecht (1616-1619), and Breda (1619).

In 1619 when he moved to Utrecht, his brother-in-law Balthasar van der Ast entered the Utrecht Guild of St. Luke, where the renowned painter Abraham Bloemaert had just become dean. The painter Roelandt Savery entered the St. Luke's Guild in Utrecht at about the same time, and Savery had considerable influence on the Bosschaert dynasty.

Bosschaert died in The Hague. After his death, Balthasar van der Ast took over his workshop and pupils.

His bouquets were painted symmetrically and with scientific accuracy in small dimensions and normally on copper. They sometimes included symbolic and religious meanings. At the time of his death, Bosschaert commanded a thousand amateur painters for the production of one floral painting. Bosschaert became one of the first artists to specialize in still life, and in doing so he started a tradition of painting detailed flower bouquets, which typically consisted of tulips, roses and an exotic species.

His sons and his pupil and brother-in-law, Balthasar van der Ast, were among those to uphold the Bosschaert dynasty which continued until the mid-17th century.

It may not be a coincidence that this trend coincided with a national obsession with exotic flowers which made flower portraits highly sought after.

Although he was highly in demand, he did not create many pieces because he was also employed as an art dealer.

Bosschaert de Oudere, Ambrosius". Winkler Prins encyclopedia (8 ed.). 1975.


* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see Glossary

** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at

Share an image of the Artist

  Full access to biographies is
  free each Friday

About  Ambrosius (AB) (The Elder) Bosschaert

Born:  1573 - Antwerp, Belgium
Died:   1621 - The Hague, Holland
Known for:  floral still life painting