Jan Davidsz. de Heem, also called Johannes de Heem or Johannes van Antwerpen, was a still life painter who was active in Utrecht and Antwerp. He is a major representative of that genre in both Dutch and Flemish Baroque painting.
De Heem was one of the greatest painters of still life in the Netherlands, combining a brilliance and harmony of colour along with an accurate rendering of objects: flowers, in all their variety; European and tropical fruits; lobsters and oysters; butterflies and moths; stone and metal; snails and sea shells.
De Heem was born in Utrecht as Johannes van Antwerpen. He studied first under his father David de Heem the Elder (1570–1631), then under Balthasar van der Ast. He lived in Leiden from about 1625 to 1629, where he studied in 1629 under David Bailly (1584- c. 1657). He entered the painters' guild of Antwerp in 1635 or 1636 and became a burgher of that city in 1637. However he was often absent, as attested by the duties he had to pay for this. He remained in Antwerp until 1667, when he moved back to Utrecht, where records trace his presence from 1668 to 1671. He left Utrecht in 1671 when French troops were approaching the city. It is not known when he finally returned to Antwerp, but his death there is recorded in the guild books. A very early picture, dated 1628, in the gallery of Gotha, bears the signature of Johannes in full and shows de Heem familiar with the technique of the young Aelbert Cuyp. In later years he gained the vigour of his own originality.