Osias Beert remained unknown for many years before he was brought out of oblivion in 1938, when the still life became very sought after by art-lovers and collectors. Like Georg Flegel in Germany, Osias Beert is one of the leading figures in the early days of still life painting in Flanders. Little is known about his life: he may well have been the pupil of the painter Andries van Baesrode in 1596, after which he became a master of the Guild of St. Luke in Antwerp in 1602. He married Margaretha Ykens in 1606 and had 12 children, including Osias Beert II. He was known to have six apprentices and in addition to being a painter, he was also known as a cork merchant and lived in the fishermen's quarter. Paintings of breakfasts, floral compositions and still lifes of fruit were his speciality. His paintings are composed of a juxtaposition of food, crockery or precious trinkets on the slanted surface of a table. In order to show the elements in their entirety, he arranges them on various planes. An archaic frontal and distributive presentation, the careful execution of a masterful realism, a dark abstract background, and bright and smooth colours: these are all the characteristics that make Osias Beert the leader of the first generation of Flemish painters specialising in still life. Deep or bright tones provide his works with a harmonious balance between form and colour. Few of Beert's paintings were signed and none were dated. His works can be seen in the Louvre, the Dallas Museum, the Snijders & Rockoxhuis in Antwerp and the Kunsthalle in Hamburg.