Still Life with a Lobster

To a 17th-century viewer the objects brought together in this still life would have suggested considerable wealth and luxury. Not only the lobster, but also salt, pepper and citrus fruit were costly items at that time. The elaborately crafted gold goblet and the stand supporting the glass on the right, were highly valued for their material and workmanship. Blue and white porcelain was imported into the Netherlands from China.

While it remains debatable whether such a display of wealth served as a reminder of the transience of all earthly belongings, the luxury objects clearly point to the elaborate lifestyle of successful Dutch merchants during the 'Golden Age'.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1593/4 - 1680/2
Full title
Still Life with a Lobster
Date made
1650-9
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
114 x 103 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Presented by Frederick John Nettlefold, 1947
Inventory number
NG5787
Location in Gallery