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Willem Claesz. Heda: 'Still Life: Pewter and Silver Vessels and a Crab'

Pewter and silver vessels, a crab, a lemon, a knife and a glass are seen on a table. The muted tonality and limited range of objects on the table seems to evoke an impression of modesty and restraint. However, quite the opposite is true. The lemon, salt and pepper, as well as the silver and pewter vessels, were expensive luxury items, available only to wealthy Dutchmen. The restrained colour range reflects the Haarlem tradition of the so-called 'monochromatic' still life. This work was previously attributed to Gerrit Willemsz. Heda but is now thought to be by his father Willem Claesz. Heda on the basis of comparison with a signed picture by him of the mid-1630s (Sweden, Oppenheimer collection).


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