The Hidden Cost of Luxury

Osias Beert’s Still Life with Various Vessels on a Table (about 1610) exudes decadence, but what lies behind ornate display of pewter, oysters, blue-and-white porcelain, and sugary sweets? In this five-minute video, hear from Antien Knaap, assistant curator of Paintings, Art of Europe; and Mary Hicks, assistant professor of History at the University of Chicago, as they explore the impact of colonialism and the transatlantic slave trade on 17th-century Dutch society—and how it manifested in art from the period.