Jan Davidsz. de Heem is one of the most important 17th-century Dutch still-life painters.
Exquisite vessels and costly fruits are piled on a wooden table with a gathered cloth, to form a classical triangular composition. Typically for the period, the painting has a wealth of symbolic and emblematic significations. The smouldering fuse, the extinguished pipe and the overturned roemer are all part of the baroque idea of vanitas: remember, life is transitory! Here the artist combines the warm shades of the Dutch version of chiaroscuro with the vivid, glowing colouration of Flemish painting. Magnificent as his rendering of the individual objects may be, he nevertheless subordinates them to the overall impression of the painting.