Balthasar van der Ast
Balthazar van der Ast (1593/94 - 7 March 1657) is a Dutch artist from the Golden Age who specializes in still life of flowers and fruits, as well as draws a number of remarkable still life of shells; he is considered a pioneer in the shell-painting genre. Its still lifes often contain insects and lizards. He was born in Middelburg and died in Delft. The life of his works was once summed up by an Amsterdam doctor who said: "In flowers, shells and lizards, beautiful."