Forest Floor with a Toad and a Lizard and a Bullfinch on a Branch of Ivy by Matthias Withoos
Matthias Withoos (Amersfoort, 1627) studied painting in Amersfoort and went to Rome in 1648. There he was known as Calzetta Bianca (his name translated into Italian). In 1653 he returned to Amersfoort, but in the 'Disaster Year' 1672, when the French troops of Louis XIV temporarily occupied Amersfoort, Matthias fled to Hoorn, where he would remain until his death in 1703.
His still life paintings are characterized by their close-ups of dark and mysterious plants and undergrowth inhabited by insects and other creatures. Casper van Wittel was one of his students, and many of Withoos' seven children followed in his footsteps, including the botanical artist Alida Withoos.
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