Still-lives paintings became much popular throughout continental Europe during the 17th Century as they represented beauty and religious symbols altogether, meaning that their owners could admire and interpret them at the same time.
The term "still-life" only appeared during the middle of the 17th Century. Before 1650, people spoke of fruit, banquet or luncheon paintings. This works were much appreciated when one knows that the Dutch artist Ambrosius Bosschaert received 1000 guilders for a painting of flowers whereas the price of a portrait in Holland around 1625 was fixed at about 60 guilders. The story of still-life painting started in fact in Ancient Greece when Zeuxis painted raisins which were so realistically reproduced that birds would try to pilfer them.
The art of creating illusion was also much admired during the 14th Century, notably in Italy where several mural deception paintings were produced and during the 15th Century when Flemish masters Jan van Eyck or Robert Campin introduced still-lives in their paintings. However, still-life painting began in earnest at the start of the 16th Century.