"Jan Davidsz. van Antwerpen" was born in Utrecht to the musician David van Antwerpen and Hillegont Teunisdr. from Leiden. The surname "van Antwerpen" points to the family's origin in the city on the Schelde River. With his family, confessing Catholics, the painter moved in 1625 to Leiden, where he appended "De Heem" to his name. On 12 November 1626 De Heem and Aletta (Aeltgen) van Weede from Utrecht published banns. Their sons David Jansz. and Cornelis Jansz. were born in 1628 and 1631, respectively. In 1632 De Heem moved to Antwerp, where he joined the Guild of St Luke in 1635/36. A year later, on 28 August 1637, he was granted citizenship. His wife died on 29 March 1643. The following year De Heem married the Antwerp native Anna Ruckers. Although Antwerp remained his home, the painter lived in Utrecht for a long time. A document from 1669 gives 24 June 1667 as the date of his move to that city, and in 1669 he is also identified as a member of the Utrecht painters' guild. On 12 July 1669 Cosimo III de' Medici visited De Heem in Utrecht and purchased a still life with fruit. The artist's last stay in Utrecht, from 1665 to 1672, was ended by the invasion of French troops. De Heem returned to Antwerp, where he died in 1683/84. On 26 April 1684 Antwerp's Guild of St Luke received his death levy. The death date 1674 reported by Houbraken was probably based on an error. Jan Davidsz. de Heem was one of the most important Netherlandish still-life painters of the seventeenth century. Living in both Utrecht and Antwerp, he combined in characteristic features of the two cities' still-life traditions. His artistic range extended from early still lifes with books to sumptuous floral pieces. Particularly influential were the magnificent still lifes in which he took inspiration from Flemish kitchen pieces in the tradition of Frans Snyders. Among De Heem's few documented pupils were his sons Cornelis, from his first marriage, and Jan Jansz. de Heem, from his second. De Heem frequently collaborated with the still-life painter Abraham Mignon, a Frankfurt native who lived in Utrecht.