Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder

Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder

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Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder was born in Antwerp, and started his career as a painter at a very young age.He specialized in painting still lifes with flowers, which he signed with the monogram AB , putting the A through the B.

At the age of twenty-one he joined the Guild of Saint Luke and later became dean. Not long after, Bosschaert was married and established himself as a leading figure in the fashionable flower painting genre.He married in 1604. Ambrosius had three sons who all became flower painters; Ambrose II, John and Abraham.

Shortly after 1587 Bosschaert's family moved to Middelburg for religious reasons. He became a still life painter and art dealer.In Middelburg he taught his brother-in-law Balthasar van der Ast, who also became a successful painter of flower still lifes.

Balthasar also lived and worked in his studio and accompanied him on his travels. Bosschaert later worked in Amsterdam (1614), Bergen op Zoom (1615-1616), Utrecht (1616-1619) and Breda (1619).

When he moved to Utrecht in 1619, his brother-in-law van der Ast joined the Sint-Lucas Guild in Utrecht, where the famous painter Abraham Bloemaert had just become dean. The painter Roelandt Savery (1576–1639) joined the Guild of Saint Luke in Utrecht around the same time. Savery had great influence on the Bosschaert dynasty.


Ambrosius Bosschaert de Oude introduced a new type of flower still life, in which the flowers are displayed with botanical precision.

His compositions and use of color are perfectly balanced. He died in The Hague when he delivered a flower still life to a servant of Prince Maurits. His brother-in-law Balthasar van der Ast took over his studio and students.

Ambrosius Bosschaert de Oude

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