Painting of the Week / Thomas Abbs

Painting of the Week: 37

Painting of the Week: 37

Willem Claeszoon Heda (1593/1594 – c.1680/1682), Still life with rummer, silver tazza, pie and other objects, 1634, oil on oak panel,  43.7 x 68.2 cm, The Hague.

With only a few days of the Olympics left to go, I thought it would be remiss not to feature a painting that somehow ties in with the Games. Naturally, what I have chosen is tenuous.

Hailing from the Dutch city of Harleem, Willem Claesz. Heda was a joint innovator, along with Pieter Claesz, in the development of the small-scale breakfast piece. Experimenting with varying focal distinctness within the depth of the visual field, Heda and Claesz both sought to enhance the appearance of recession of the objects arranged on a table.

Although a breakfast scene, to me this is reminiscent of the morning after the party – everyone’s left, the last of the wine has burrowed itself into the carpet, and you’re fresh out of table salt and club soda. Things may be left looking tatty and deserted, but a good party, like a good Olympics, shines ever in the retrospect. TA

This painting, along with more from Willem Heda, can be found in our book Seventeenth Century Dutch and Flemish Painting: Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

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