In the 17th century, the Dutch Republic was a fast-paced, successful, modern society—economically, politically, and artistically. The work ethic of its citizens amazed foreign visitors, who compared the Dutch to crawling ants. Its flourishing art production showed the bustle of everyday life with almost scientific precision. Yet many artworks amassed by Dutch citizens in their homes portray scenes of silence and serenity. Such works, including genre pieces by Johannes Vermeer and still lifes featuring fruit, nuts or bread by Willem Heda and Adriaen Coorte, suggest a deep engagement with reflection and offer—literally—food for thought.