Jan Davidsz de Heem (c.1606 - 1683): Festoon of Fruit and

Jan Davidsz de Heem (c.1606 - 1683): Festoon of Fruit and

4/19/2021, 11:07:00 AM
Jan Davidsz de Heem (c.1606 - 1683): Festoon of Fruit and Flowers, 1660-70, oil on canvas, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam . . . The Dutch and Flemish took extraordinary delight in depictions of the natural world as an expression of God’s everlasting blessing. The flower and fruit paintings of Utrecht-born painter Jan Davidsz de Heem celebrate the beauty of the nature while at the same time exemplifying the concept of Ars longa, vita brevis (art is long, life is short) embodied in the Dutch still-life paintings of the seventeenth century. De Heem’s paintings also reflected the great interest in botany at that time, and this work includes exotic flowers and plants brought back from faraway places, such as the tulip, originally imported into Europe from Turkey in the 1550s. In 1626 Jan Davidsz de Heem moved to Antwerp, where he became acquainted with sumptuous and colourful Flemish stiil-life paintings. He combined this feature with his gift for rendering nature in minute details. This is clear to see in this floral and fruit festoon: a highly decorative entity that is nevertheless meticulously detailed. All kinds of hungry insects seem to populated in this still-life! (Rijksmuseum)

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