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Jan van Huysum worked from 1701 in his father's studio. His father Justus van Huijsen I was a painter of floral still lifes and interior decorations and trained his sons in this tradition.
After his father's death in 1716, Van Huysum independently gained an international reputation as a leading painter of realistic floral still lifes.
Jan often combined flowers from different seasons into one bouquet. Most of his paintings are unusually asymmetrical and placed against a light background. He brought the much-loved genre of flower still life to new heights.
He had an international clientele and was a well-paid painter. Van Huysum lived on the Leidsegracht in Amsterdam. He married Margrieta Schouten in 1704 and had a son who was "no good" and eventually went to the Dutch East Indies.
The story goes that Van Huysum led a reclusive life and that, for fear of plagiarism, he denied everyone, including his brothers, access to his studio.