In her 1983 catalogue (see Literature), Saskia Nihom-Nijstad compares this painting with a signed panel at the Fondation Custodia, Paris.2 The Paris panel, though somewhat larger in size, measuring 16 1/8 by 12 3/8 in.; 41 by 32.5 cm., includes the same elements of smoking paraphernalia. The present composition, however, differs in the inclusion of a deck of cards, piled in the background behind the pitcher. This still life appears to be a simple allegory of leisure and humble recreation. Yet the playing cards, coupled with the tobacco and pitcher, could be viewed as a warning against the vices of gambling, smoking and drinking.3
1. F.G. Meijer and A. van der Willigen, A Dictionary of Dutch and Flemish Still-life Painters Working in Oils, 1525-1725, Leiden 2003, p. 85.
2. S. Nihom-Nijstad, under Literature, cat. no. 30.
3. New Orleans 1997, under Literature.
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