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Sumptuous Still Life

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This sumptuous still life by Abraham van Beijeren is not only a feast for the eye; there are also signs of restraint. The watch and the figure of Fortuna can be seen as symbols of the fleeting nature of life and the insecurity of faith. , Many seventeenth-century painters specialized in a particular genre. Abraham van Beijeren built his career on two seemingly unrelated subjects: still lifes and sea or river views. He is best known for his still lifes displaying wealth and abundance.
Van Beijeren was a true master of variation. The same objects appear in nearly all his still lifes, but he arranged them differently on each occasion so that no two paintings are alike. The silver pitcher, the half-peeled lemon, the watch and the silver-plated beaker that he depicted in this work are some of the objects he used time and again. The window in the upper left corner and the swagged curtain in front of it can also be seen in many of his paintings.
The still life is a delight, but there is more to this array of extravagant objects than meets the eye. The painting also contains a hidden message: it reminds the observer of the virtue of moderation. The personification of Fortune surmounting the beaker alludes to the vagaries of fate, while the three roses on the silver dish and the watch beside the bunch of grapes symbolize the passage of time and the transience of earthly possessions.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title Sumptuous Still Life
Material and technique Oil on canvas
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Height 129 cm
Width 108.7 cm
Artists Schilder: Abraham van Beijeren
Accession number St 90
Credits Bruikleen / Loan: Stichting Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen 1950
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1950
Age artist About 34 years old
External exhibitions De vijf zintuigen (2012)
Research Alma
Geographical origin Northern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Abraham van Beijeren

Den Haag 1620/1621 - Overschie 1690

Abraham van Beijeren's name appeared in 1816 as Aelbert van Beijeren in the book 'History of the Fatherland's painting art' by Van Eijnden and Van de Willigen....

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