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A Pronk Still Life with Fruit, Oysters, and Lobsters Andries Benedetti


Andries Benedetti Antwerp, 1615/1618 – 1649 or later

Culture flemish
Date ca. 1640–1645
Object type painting
Medium, technique oil on canvas

168 x 240 cm
with frame: 189 x 262 x 15 cm

Inventory number 255
Collection Old Master Paintings
On view Museum of Fine Arts, First Floor, European Art 1600–1700 and British Painting 1600–1800, Gallery IX

Benedetti was the pupil of Jan Davidsz. de Heem, who is credited with the creation of the most sumptuous type of Baroque decorative still life. In an elegant architectural setting with columns and draperies stands a richly-laden table with velvet and damask tablecloths. The expensive fruits, the metal and glass vessels filled with drinks, the enticing oysters and enormous lobsters, crowded into a dynamically composed group on the table symbolise wealth, luxury, and the pleasures of earthly life; but here and there a hidden motif hints at their transience. On the corner of the table, for instance, an upset communion chalice and the bread next to it are eucharistic symbols.

Ildikó Ember

This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.

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