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Still Life: Fruit, Goblet and Salver

Kalf, Willem
Europe, Netherlands, Holland

First floor: 17th Century

oil paint
58.9 x 50.7 cm

More Details

Still Life:Fruit, Goblet and Salver mid to late 1600s
Willem Kalf 1619 - 93
Oil on canvas

In the 17th century Amsterdam expanded dramatically
and became a centre of artistic patronage.

One recipient of this was Willem Kalf
who had worked in Rotterdam and Paris.

In Amsterdam he concentrated on a type of still life
which was austere and elegant
with dramatic light effects,
similar to the work of Rembrandt, another incomer.

He reduced his subjects to a few favourite items.
Rich carpets and glittering glasses,
expensive but not too ostentatious,
echo the lifestyle of the wealthy burghers.

They admired the craft of the painters;
lemons, with their peeled skin twisted elegantly,
demanded a virtuosic skill but also retained meaning.
The apples of temptation and the wine of the sacrament
transformed paintings into
secular reminders of sacred duties.

Assheton - Bennett bequest 1979.468