Art Cooking: Dutch and Flemish Still Life Painting | Summary and Q&A

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November 20, 2018
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The Art Assignment
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Art Cooking: Dutch and Flemish Still Life Painting

TL;DR

Explore the exquisite Dutch and Flemish still life paintings from the 17th century that showcase a variety of luxurious food items and treasures from around the world.

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Key Insights

  • 🛟 Dutch and Flemish still life paintings from the 17th century showcased the prosperity and abundance of the Dutch Golden Age.
  • ❓ These paintings were carefully curated displays of objects, chosen for their aesthetic qualities.
  • 😋 Many food items depicted in the paintings, such as pretzels, cheese, butter, and wine, were symbols of luxury and prosperity during that time.
  • 😋 The Dutch East India Company played a significant role in bringing in diverse goods from around the world, contributing to the availability of various food items and decorations in the Dutch Republic.
  • 🛟 Still life paintings evolved during the 17th century, focusing more on the objects themselves and less on figures or moral agendas.
  • 🛟 The true meaning and significance of these still life paintings are open to interpretation and can represent hospitality, non-perishable tableaux of plenty, or warnings about excess and the transience of life.

Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] NARRATOR: Throughout history, food has served as subject matter, inspiration, and of course, sustenance for artists. Food has also been the art on a number of occasions. This week we delve into the first decades of the 17th century to consider the preponderance of Dutch and Flemish still life paintings that showcase a dazzling array... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: What made Dutch and Flemish still life paintings of the 17th century exceptional?

Dutch and Flemish still life paintings of the 17th century were exceptional because they showcased a wide variety of luxurious food items and treasures, reflecting the prosperity and abundance of the Dutch Golden Age.

Q: How did the Dutch East India Company contribute to the availability of diverse foods and decorations during the 17th century?

The Dutch East India Company, founded in 1602, brought in staples as well as luxury goods from around the world, resulting in a diverse array of foods and decorations readily available to those profiting off of these advancements.

Q: How did still life paintings evolve during the 17th century in the Dutch Republic?

In the first decades of the 17th century, still life paintings began to focus more on carefully selected and arranged objects, without the presence of figures or moral agendas. These paintings highlighted the beauty and abundance of the objects themselves.

Q: What do these still life paintings represent and what was their significance during the Dutch Golden Age?

The true meaning and significance of these still life paintings from the Dutch Golden Age are not completely known. They may have represented hospitality, served as non-perishable tableaux of plenty given as gifts, or even conveyed warnings about the dangers of excess and the transience of life.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Dutch and Flemish still life paintings from the 17th century depicted a dazzling array of food and treasures, showcasing the prosperity and abundance of the Dutch Golden Age.

  • These paintings were not meant to represent actual meals but were carefully curated displays of objects, chosen for their colors, forms, textures, and luster.

  • Many food items depicted in the paintings, such as pretzels, cheese, butter, and wine, were symbols of luxury and prosperity during that time.

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