TIM BATCHELOR: This striking painting is quite unusual for British art of this period in that it shows quite a lavish still life. Still life painting really becomes established in Britain in the late seventeenth century. NARRATOR: Curator Tim Batchelor. TIM BATCHELOR: The painting also reveals the artist's interest in gardening and horticulture, the cultivation of plants. This was becoming increasingly fashionable in this period and Nathaniel Bacon took a great interest in this. We have a variety of grape on display here which was a new introduction from America and the melons that we can see prominently displayed near the cook maid herself were grown on his own estates. NARRATOR: Bacon is unusual in being an artist who was of the gentry. His wealth enabling him painted for own pleasure. Not much is known about his training but this painting may hold a clue. TIM BATCHELOR: We know that Nathaniel Bacon travelled in the Southern Netherlands during this period, and that paintings of cookmaids and cookmaid scenes, banquet scenes of this nature, are prevalent in the southern Netherlands, around Antwerp in the late 16 Century and early 17th Century. So he may well travelled there, trained there and become accustomed to this compositional style while he was there.