..."A phenomenal work that holds its own next to Impressionist landscapes of Monet, Pisarro and Sisley. The bold high horizon, the apparently randomly chosen cropping and the almost monomane of that continuous nasturtiums make it a dream painting - more beautiful than many works of Monet of Manet," said chief conservator Michiel Plomp...
Van Looy produced The Garden in the summer of 1893 when he just returned from a visit to Paris. Due to the light touch and abrupt cropping, the painting fits in with French Impressionism. In the Netherlands, interest in this was not large at the end of the 19th century. As negative as the newspapers wrote about his painting when it was exhibited in the art society Arti, his colleagues were positive. The then director of Museum Boijmans was "perplexed" by the work and Isaac Israel noted: "It's the best painting there is [in Arti], so there's no question of whether you should have the medal." Van Looy painted the canvas directly outside en plein air. While the expansive flower sea of nasturtiums, slaapmutjes and sunflowers suggests life in the country, the canvas was created in the Amsterdam Pipe, in a garden on the Rustenburgerstraat. The newly married couple lived there in 1892. The woman in the background is Van Looy's wife, Titia van Gelder.
...Van Looy was a very original painter who occupied himself with both landscapes, portraits, cityscapes and genre scenes. Later in his life, he was engaged in works using flowers and fruits from his own garden. This work is the first and immediately the most beautiful and greatest example of that. The garden is one of only five large flower paintings that are known by of Van Looy. Three are in private collections in the Netherlands and the United States. Zomerweelde hangs in the Rijksmuseum (on loan from the Stedelijk Museum).
(Google translation of text at http://jacobusvanlooy.nl.server43.firstfind.nl/jacobusvanlooy.nl/?p=105)