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Flowers in a Glass Vase and Fruits - Jan David De Hem. 100x75.5
Jan Davids de Hem (1606-1684) is a Dutch artist who worked for some time in Leiden, but in 1635 joined the Antwerp Guild of St. Luke and the next year became a citizen of Antwerp. Around 1667 he returned to his native Utrecht, but in 1672 he fled back to Antwerp from the French who had captured the city.
De Hem became famous for his magnificent still lifes of flowers. They are so carefully executed that these days they may well serve as a kind of reference book of the European flora. But first of all, the canvases attract with their artistic qualities, the beauty of the combination of plant colors and paints, the richness of their palette, the complexity of the composition, which makes it possible to imagine a bright color (colorful) gamut of flowers (plants).
To a large extent, it was thanks to Jan Davids de Hem that the still life became an independent painting genre in the works of Dutch and Flemish masters of the 17th century. The still lifes of this time are largely allegorical. So, in addition to the flowers themselves, the presented picture depicts a butterfly and a snail; on other canvases there are caterpillars and larvae. They mean not just the cycle of a person’s earthly life, but also death and resurrection.