BEYEREN, Abraham van
(b. 1620, Den Haag, d. 1690, Overschie)

Banquet Still-Life

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Oil on canvas, 99,5 x 120,5 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

The Dutch call 'pronk stilleven' (pronk means sumptuous or ostentatious) the lavish still-lifes of the type of abundant display on carpet-covered tables piled high with ornate silver platters and baskets of expensive fruit. These works are usually embellished with exquisite trappings, precious metal vessels, and delicate glassware. The term is traditionally used to categorize overt displays of magnificent banquets and luxury items painted from the mid- to the late decades of the century. De Heem, Willem Kalf, and Abraham van Beyeren were the leading practitioners of the type. Their patrons presumably belonged to the upper echelons of society and made no secret of their expensive tastes.