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 Ambrosius (AB) Younger Bosschaert II  (1609 - 1645)



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Lived/Active: Netherlands      Known for: floral still life painting

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Ad Code: 2
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Fruit still life with shells and insects
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Ambrosius Bosschaert II was the son of Ambrosius Bosschaert (1573-1621). He lived in Utrecht, where he married in 1634. His work has been recognized only since 1935 when Piet de Boer succeeded in differentiating it from pictures by his father and his brother Abraham.

Ambrosius the younger’s early pictures are signed ‘AB’ in Gothic lettering, but after 1633 he used a more calligraphic, rounded abbreviation, almost Baroque in effect, or even his name in full. The first period of his creative output falls between 1626 and 1635.  His flower-pieces from that time are viewed from above and have a low vanishing point; there are often exotic accessories and shells (e.g. Bouquet with Frog and Lizard, The Hague, S. Nystad Gallery), while on one occasion a live snake is introduced. In later work the high viewpoint and stiff composition of the pictures, especially of the still-lifes combining fruit and flowers, become noticeably less symmetrical and more spacious. These works also reveal the strong influence of his brother Abraham, evident both in the choice of format and in the preference for blue and yellow, as well as in the darker background and more compactly organised still-life arrangements (e.g. Flowers in a Glass Vase, 1635; Utrecht, Centraal Museum; Fruits and Parrots, 1635; The Hague, Dienst Verspreide Rijkscollectie). It is possible that many of the pictures ascribed to Ambrosius the younger for this period were begun by Abraham and finished after his death by his brother.

Ambrosius Bosschaert the younger’s paintings are also marked by their strong religious message; his Bowl of Fruit with a Siegburg Beaker (Amsterdam, A. A. Bosschaert private collection) can be interpreted as alluding to the Fall of Man, the Crucifixion and the Redemption. Ambrosius the younger also painted vanitas still-lifes (e.g. ex-Schaap private collection, Monte Carlo) and a unique memento mori, a macabre little picture showing a Dead Frog lying on its back surrounded by four black flies (Paris, Fondation Custodia, Institut Néerlandais). The extremely limited colour range (grey and brown with white highlights) is reminiscent of monochrome still-lifes from Haarlem and Leiden.

Bosschaert II is represented in the following collections: Centraal Museum, Utrecht; S. Nystad Gallery, The Hague; Dienst Verspreide Rijkscollectie, The Hague; Fondation Custodia, Institut Néerlandais, Paris; amongst others.

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