Still Life of Oysters, a Nautilus Cup, a Roemer, Lemon and Other Objects, Willem Claeszoon Heda
On Sotheby’s (zoomable). Direct link to image file here.
I love the subtle sheen of colors in the nautilus cup, and the way the glassware almost disappears into the dark background.
Interesting to compare to this somewhat more elaborate still life by Heda’s contemporary, Pieter Claesz, also featuring a nautilus cup.
Link: Still Life of Oysters, Sotheby's
6 Replies to “Eye Candy for Today: Willem Claeszoon Heda still life”
Willem Kalf also produced a superb painting with a nautilus cup: http://www.wikiart.org/en/willem-kalf/still-life-with-a-nautilus-cup-1662
Wow. That’s a spectacular one. Thanks, Jeff!
Terrific presentations. I can’t believe that I lost contact with this wonderful site. Perhaps my favorite oysters were painted by Abraham Mignon. A good source is the Rijksmuseum’s “Still Lifes: Techniques and Style” I will be spending quite some time catching up here. Thank you and Happy New Year.
My pleasure. Thanks for the nice words. Enjoy.
Poem by David Masello (for Charley Parker)
A scene I would paint, if I could:
the young Dutchman at the party,
offering North Sea oysters, shucking
them for guests who say “Yes” to the offer.
He slices into the seam of the shell,
mottled, amorphous as a rock—
expert camouflage in an outcropping,
a creature, said to be insentient,
fashioning something this ingenious.
The blade teases his metal-mesh glove.
A scrape of residual sand and, then,
upon the unhinging, a release
of the reek of the sea; a final flourish
of lemon juice that leaks through his fist.
He awaits as you tip and drink
the pearlescent brine, dislodge
and slide the being into your mouth;
a kind of sorrow for that gray mass,
its one exposure to the air we breathe.
He then positions the hip that carries
the bucket for you to deposit the shell.
Golden Age still-lifes include the oyster
on their tabletops, a symbol of longing,
an aphrodisiac, among the other goods
of bread, wheels of gouda, pomegranates,
unfurling peels and scattered femurs,
assembled to tell us what we have in life,
for now. Never included in such scenes
painted by the masters is there a figure
such as he, though, look closely enough,
and you might find a face like his reflected
within the wink emitted from a silver pitcher spout,
the sheen that wraps the orb of a grape.
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