Balthasar van der Ast was both the pupil and son-in-law of Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder, by whom his fruit and flower still-lifes are heavily influenced. Van der Ast studied with Bosschaert's son, Ambrosius II, whose work, like that of his father, had a profound effect on him. Ambrosius the Elder married Van der Ast's sister Maria in 1604.
The muted colour scheme is something often repeated throughout Van der Ast's oeuvre; compare, for example, with the similar composition depicting Peaches in a pewter dish with other fruits in the Dordrechts Museum (see L.J. Bol, The Bosschaert Dynasty, Leigh-on-Sea 1960, p. 77, no. 62, reproduced plate 43a). When offered for sale in these rooms 8 July 1999, lot 14, Fred G. Meijer suggested a dating for the present painting to the 1630s, and it was therefore probably painted in Delft where the artist settled in 1632 after leaving Utrecht.
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