When it comes to still life art, can not fail to mention the famous painter Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606 – 1684), who is considered a pioneer in this genre of paintings in Dutch painting history. He has devoted his lifetime to create these still-life works that famous until today.
Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606 – 1684) whose full name is Jan Davidszoon de Heem , aka Johannes van Antwerpen, born in Utrecht, Netherlands. He was apprenticed to his father – David de Heem the Elder (1570 – 1631), and then Balthasar van der Ast. He lived in Leiden between 1625 to 1629, and he studied at the David Bailly in 1629.
In 1626, he moved to Leiden. Here he often painted monochromatic still-life works, using only one or at most two shades. The principal object was then musical instruments and books. Circa 1635 – 1636, he moved to southern Netherlands and joined the Saint Luke in Antwerp. This time, his works became brilliant and more subtle. He began to focus on painting still lifes, which objects mainly flowers and fruit.
With remarkable talent, he has made a remarkable reputation. De Heem is seen as one of the greatest Netherlands painters. Of his early works in the style of painter Balthasar van der Ast. Besides, he also learned a lot from artists Claesz. And until lived in Antwerp, he turns into a different direction: Recreate the brilliant images of flowers on the tables exquisitely carved imbued the spirit of Flemish Baroque art. Often each of his still-life works will convey a philosophy or a certain motto. His paintings are an ingenious combination of colors and sharp contours of objects such as flowers, fruits, lobster, seafood, butterfly, rock, metal, or shells …
He has been paying a very generous amount to draw portraits of Prince William III. Then, the painting sold for up to 2000 guiler (Dutch currency), one of the highest price paid for a picture during the golden age of Dutch painting. There are over a hundred paintings have been preserved in museums in Europe, but only 18 paintings survived to this day.