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Library Interior with Still Life, 1711-12

Jan van der Heyden

Dutch, 1637-1712
Oil on canvas
27 x 22-1/2 in. (68.6 x 57.2 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
F.1972.17.P
© 2012 The Norton Simon Foundation

Not on view

In this “portrait” of a study or personal library, the variety and quality of the furnishings tell us a great deal about the person who gathered the objects together. Items such as the embroidered red satin cloth and the decorated cabinet indicate a high degree of wealth. Above the mantel, the classically themed painting, Polyxena Murdered at the Tomb of Achilles by Gerard de Lairesse, speaks of the owner’s aesthetic tastes. The terrestrial and celestial globes and the open atlas by Jan Blaeu, the leading globe and mapmaker of the Dutch Republic, suggest a person with worldly and intellectual interests.

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