Severin Roesen painted his subjects with such precision that it possible to identify specific flowers in this still life, including roses, bluebells, forget-me-nots, and asters. Tiny droplets of water and an aphid sitting on a rose stem add to the painting's sense of realism. The work celebrates the bounty of nature, in the same spirit as mid-19th-century landscape paintings that present America as a new Garden of Eden by artists such as Asher B. Durand, Frederic Church, John Kensett, and Martin Heade (examples of which are in The Huntington's collection).
Roesen came to the United States from Germany around 1848. He settled in rural Pennsylvania, where he produced lavish compositions that relate to German and Dutch still lifes from the 17th and 18th centuries. This work is one of about 40 small panel paintings that Roesen created from the mid-1850s through the 1860s.