A study of digitalis purpurea or foxglove by Pieter Van Loo


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Pieter Van Loo

Haarlem 1735 – 1784

A study of digitalis purpurea or foxglove

Pen and brown ink, brush and watercolor on laid paper

377 x 260 mm – 14 13/16 x 10 1/4 in.

Provenance – Berlin, Bassenge sale, 31 May 2019, No. 6708; Berlin, Bassenge, 29 November 2019, n° 6605.

Pieter van Loo was born, in 1735, in Haarlem where he would spend most of his life. He became a member of the local guild of St Luke in 1763. Van Loo produced many designs for wall-hangings for the Troost van Groenendoelen factory in Amsterdam.

As an artist, he mostly specialized in landscapes and still life pictures, including studies of individual plants, such as the present study of a Digitalis Purpurea (a common poisonous native European plant), which is rendered in studious detail.

The Digitalis purpurea is a plant with flowers which are tubular in shape, produced on a tall spike, and vary in colour with species, from purple to pink or white.

Condition report – Good condition.