HEEM, Jan Davidsz. de
1606, Utrecht–1684, Antwerp
Dutch still life painter. He was born at Utrecht and his rare early pictures are in the style of Balthasar van der Ast, who taught him there. Later he worked in Leiden and showed that he had studied the restrained and simple works of the Haarlem still life artists Claesz. and Heda. In 1636 he moved to Antwerp, became a citizen of that city in 1637, and spent most of his very productive life there. The paintings he did in Flanders are the ones for which he is most renowned and are very different in spirit from his earlier works: splendid flower pieces and large compositions of exquisitely laid tables which breathe all the opulent exuberance of Flemish Baroque painting. His work formed a link between the Dutch and Flemish still-life traditions and he is claimed by both schools. He came from a large family of painters and his many followers in Flanders and Holland included his son Cornelis (1631–1695).