Flemish artist Adriaenssen the Elder carefully juxtaposed fruits of the sea and air to emphasise variations in colour and texture.
A predatory cat claws at a fish, animating an otherwise motionless composition. With their origins in the lavish market scenes painted by Joachim Beuckelaer and others, 'visstillevens' (fish still lifes) were extremely popular in the maritime Netherlands of the 17th century.
The painting is on loan from York Art Gallery which will reopen in 2015 with new display spaces and the Centre for British Studio Ceramics. To find out more visit the York Art Gallery website [external link].