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Balthasar van der Ast (artist)



Balthasar van der Ast was a Dutch Golden Age painter. He is best known for his still life paintings of shells, flowers, and fruit. He often depicted fruit and flowers in different stages of ripeness, to represent the temporary quality of life. Many of his still lifes include finely detailed images of small insects and lizards.

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Balthasar van der Ast (Middelburg, 1593/94 – Delft, 7 March 1657) was a Dutch Golden Age painter who specialized in still lifes of flowers and fruit, as well as painting a number of remarkable shell still lifes; he is considered to be a pioneer in the genre of shell painting. His still lifes often contain insects and lizards. His lifetime of works was once summarized by an Amsterdam doctor who said, "In flowers, shells and lizards, beautiful".