A few months ago, I put up a link to this piece that I wrote about Dutch flower paintings at the National Gallery. Now a letter - email rather - has come in, asking a question to which I have no answer. So naturally I'm throwing it open to my erudite readers...
My correspondent points out that, despite the Dutch passion for flowers and flower paintings in the 17th century, the interiors depicted so beautifully in paintings of the period seem never to feature any flowers at all, not so much as a few tulips in a vase.
Obviously the kind of arrangements depicted in those virtuoso flower paintings were out of the question - but no flowers at all in the house? Or perhaps there were flowers, but for some reason they were omitted by the painters of interiors?
I can't think of a single Golden Age interior painting with flowers in it, nor can I explain their absence. Has anyone got any ideas?