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Detail of a still life showing a laded table
Dutch Art

The Royal Collection has one of the finest holdings of seventeenth century Dutch paintings in the world


The Grocer's Shop


RCIN 405542

Here Dou depicts a respectable shop, indicative of the great success that the Dutch nation had in trading. Market stalls and pedlars still existed, but shops put commercial transactions onto a more formal basis.

The Dutch economy can be seen here at work. Dou has depicted a general store that sells eggs, dairy products, bread and meat products as well as exotic goods, which demonstrate how open the country was to imports. The lemons on the ledge are on a blue and white oriental ceramic dish; there are sponges hanging in the arch; and special confections are in a jar on the ledge. At the centre of the arch are poppies used for making syrup, but also associated with apothecary shops. There is in all of this a sense of changing fashion and an opening up to French influence detectable in the style of dress, as well as in the choice of comestibles

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