Fish was an irreplaceable part of Dutch cuisine. Their sale was one of the many economical successes of Holland, as they were affordable to all classes, given their price. In painting, the still life with fish first appears in the beginning of the 17th century and as an allegory it expresses the element of water as well as the godly gift for those who work the sea. The most popular fish in Holland was a salted herring. Even poems were written in its celebration.