PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION
D. van der Linden, Amsterdam, until 1944;
Amsterdam, Frederik Muller & Co., 2–4 May 1944, lot 5, reproduced;
Amsterdam, Frederik Muller & Co., 21–24 November 1950, lot 900, reproduced (as dated 1652);
Acquired by the parents of the present owner in Amsterdam in 1960;
Thence by inheritance.
Claesz. used some of the individual elements adopted here in other compositions. The silver beaker, for example, features in a panel dated 1644 of similar size in the Detroit Institute of Arts.2 The overturned roemer first appears in a breakfast piece in 1630, a work now at the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and before that in a vanitas still life of 1628, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. The knife protruding over the edge of the table can be found in a number of compositions and is a motif that recurs throughout his career.
This painting is characterised by a low viewpoint and a unifying colour scheme of subtle tonal gradations. The overall tonality is enlivened by the bright yellow of the lemon peel and the warmer hues of the crusty bread, their vibrant presence enhanced against the dark green table cloth.
The date has been read in the past as both 1632 and 1652. We are grateful to Fred G. Meijer however for pointing out that, on stylistic grounds, it is most likely to be 1642. The fact that Claesz. is not known to have used this form of the monogram prior to 1640 supports this analysis.
1. 36 x 46.5 cm.; reproduced in colour in Pieter Claesz, Master of Haarlem Still Life, exhibition catalogue, Haarlem, Zurich and Washington 2004–05, p. 65, cat. no. 26.
2. Acc. no. 40.129; 43.8 x 53.3 cm. M. Brunner-Bulst, Pieter Claesz. der Hauptmeister des Haarlemer Stillebens im 17. Jahrhundert: Kritischer Œuvrekatalog, Lingen 2004, p. 282, no. 133, reproduced.
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