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Jan Davidsz. de Heem

Banquet Still Life with a View onto a Landscape


Jan Davidsz. de Heem
Utrecht 1606 – Antwerp 1684


Banquet Still Life with a View onto a Landscape


About 1645


Oil on wood


54 x 74 cm


Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Michal Hornstein, inv. 2007.136


Western Art

De Heem is regarded as among the most important, indeed, possibly the finest of the still-life painters of the Dutch and Flemish Golden Age. Born to a family of Catholic and Flemish (Antwerp) origins in city of Utrecht, he moved to Leiden, a thriving intellectual centre. With Dutch-Flemish duality, De Heem combines precision in detailing forms with brilliantly coloured yet well-balanced compositions. This imposing, richly composed depiction of a banquet is set on a table, covered with a green velvet cloth, strewn with lemons, oysters, crayfish, shrimp, grapes, apricots, peaches, cherries, walnuts, a pewter dish and ornamented silver salver, a “façon de Venise” wine glass. A velvet hanging drapery reveals a verdant landscape of a river scene and towns. The glorified commercial prosperity is a type sought after by affluent Dutch, as well as Flemish, burghers of the period. De Heem’s remarkable realism extends to such captivating details as using his laden brush to create three-dimensional, rugged surfaces for his lemon skins. This painting is a masterpiece executed in his mature style. Elegantly signed and executed on a costly wood panel, the artist brought particular attention to this work.

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