The Dutch Golden Age was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military and art were among the most acclaimed in the world.
Dutch Golden Age painting was baroque in general style and popularised still life and landscape painting. A growing wealthy merchant class drove art sales and the diminishing Church patronage influenced the move from religiously themed to secular paintings of everyday life. This art emphasised the relative abundance of the time by depicting a diversity of objects, fruits, flowers and dead game, often together with living people and animals.
Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606 – 1684) was a major representative of Dutch and Baroque painting and the prontskilleven movement. de Heem was born in Utrecht as Johannes van Antwerpen. His remarkable talent gained him a considerable reputation and such was demand for his work that he employed his sons to paint in his style. He re-touched their efforts and signed them as his own! His art would often convey a moral or illustrate a motto: a snake coiled in the grass, a skull placed on plants in bloom, gold and silver tankards symbolising the vanity of earthly possessions.
de Heem. has over 100 artworks hanging in European galleries. Vase of Flowers, 1660, replicated on this fabric, is one of his best known.
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