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A profusion of culinary delights and luxurious tableware dazzles this eye in this ornate scene displaying the good life of the wealthy merchants in seventeenth-century Holland. Yet clues within the painting carry a more serious message: food will rot or be eaten, a watch marks passing time, and indeed we all pass away. Still lives such as this reminded their viewers that earthly life, however pleasant, is fleeting, and that true riches should be sought in heaven.

Abraham van Beyeren worked in many cities in the Dutch Republic. He initially painted seascapes and still lives of fish, but artistically moved to dry land in the 1650s and ‘60s, when he created elaborate banquet scenes such as this. The Museum’s painting is nearly identical to another work by van Beyeren in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, suggesting the popularity of the composition.

Details

  • Title: Banquet Still Life with Roses
  • Creator: Abraham van Beyeren
  • Date Created: 1665
  • Location Created: Netherlands
  • Physical Dimensions: 51 x 43 in. (129.5 x 109.2 cm)
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Credit Line: Purchased with funds provided by the Lillie and Roy Cullen Endowment Fund

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