Dutch Golden Age. 'Vanitas' still life.

Still Life, 1643


Oil on panelexpand_more

The Eldridge C. Cooke Fundexpand_more  45.10

Claesz was one of the most important Dutch still-life painters of the 1600s, depicting objects with an extraordinary sense of naturalism. Everything on the table, from the fluted glass and goblet to the lobster and crab, is indeed life-like. You can almost smell the lemons. The Dutch proudly displayed such expensive status symbols in their homes, the exotic food and material possessions reminding them of the good things in life, even as the watch reminds them of their transience. The bread and wine, in a touch of Christian symbolism, echo the moralizing message of vanitas, or vanity: all earthly things must pass.


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Dutch Golden Age. 'Vanitas' still life.