The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Still-life painting was a staple of 17th-century Dutch art.
Usually consisting of small and simple arrangements of flowers, fruit,
tableware, or other common household items, the paintings were rendered in a highly realistic manner with meticulous attention given to textures and light-reflecting surfaces. Sometimes the works were categorized in terms that more specifically indicated their content or style,
such as ontbijtje (little breakfast) or banketje (little banquet), or vanitas, an assemblage of items designed to remind viewers of their mortality. New to the 17th century was the pronkstilleven, or ornate still life, first introduced during the 1640s by Jan Davidsz. de Heem (1606-1684), one of the most eminent painters of his time.
Southgate MT. Still Life With Parrots. JAMA. 2008;299(9):994. doi:10.1001/jama.299.9.994