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A blackberry cake stands at the centre of the table. Filtered light caresses the round plums, pears and apples and glints on a green wineglass and a silver saltcellar. A freshly baked bread roll is reflected in a pewter plate. Butter is displayed on a porcelain Wanli dish. A piece of Edam cheese perches on top of a larger piece of Gouda. The knife-marks and the age of the cheeses are rendered extremely convincingly. Floris van Schooten was a member of the Guild of St Luke – the painters’ corporation – in Haarlem and also served as its dean from 1639. His work was influenced by other leading still-life painters, such as Pieter Claesz., Pieter Aertsen and Willem Claesz. Heda.

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