Dirck van Rijswijck was born in Cleves, Germany and trained as a goldsmith, but was celebrated during, and after, his life for his inlay work using mother-of-pearl, placed on ebony or black marble surfaces. He created both pictures of still lives popular in Dutch painting of the time, like the present lot, and table tops. One such table top even inspired the Dutch poet Joost van den Vondel (1587-1679) to write a piece about Van Rijswijck’s work, stating that one would never need to travel overseas nor read intellectual books to find exquisite art ever again, as it was held within the nearby home of Van Rijswijck.
During his career, Van Rijswijck, lived in both Antwerp, and Amsterdam, where all of his inlay work is thought to have been created. Despite the description of him being a goldsmith, no known pieces of jewellery or objet de vertu by him exist, although he was known to have made medals.
Works by van Rijswijck are housed in museum collections around the world including a signed still life picture in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and an inlaid marble table top at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
Attributed to Dirck van Rijswijck, this Mother of Pearl Inlaid Floral ‘Still Life’ depicts a twin-handled vase sitting on a rosewood surface, issuing a large bouquet of flowers in engraved mother-of-pearl, including carnations, roses, pansies and tulips, on an ebony ground. This superbly detailed work is a highlight in our Belle Epoche auction in Edinburgh on 20 March.