"Still Life with Fruit and Ham" by Jan Davidszoon de Heem
This painting dates from 1648 and is by a relatively unknown Dutch painter. Have you priced ham ($8.95/lbs) or lobsters ($38 each) lately? How about peaches ($2.99/lbs), grapes ($3.69/lbs), oranges ($1.25 each), or cherries (mkt price)? Do you want to buy a new car or paint a picture? How is it possible that 400 years ago, an unknown painter could afford to put on a spread like this, not to eat, but to paint? We have globalization, free trade, shipping by air, rail and sea, yet assembling a buffet like this, for the purpose of art, today would be financially crippling! And we call it progress.