Willem van Leen was one of the most significant Dutch flower painters of the late 18th century. Born in Dordrecht, in 1773 he moved to Paris, where he dedicated himself to painting flowers and became friends with the influential painters Gerard van Spaendonck and Pierre Sauvage. With the exception of one brief sojourn in the Netherlands, Van Leen remained in Paris until 1795, after which he established himself as a celebrated painter of still-lifes and flowers in Delfshaven. His works were appreciated by experts and art collectors alike. He arranged his (often rare and exotic) flowers into rich compositions, when they were in full bloom.