Still Life with Drinking-Horn

The drinking-horn in this still life was made of a single buffalo horn set into a silver mount which features Saint Sebastian, patron saint of archers, who was bound to a tree as a target for two Roman soldiers. It dates from 1565 and is kept today in the Amsterdam Museum. The horn suggests that the painting was probably commissioned by a member of the Amsterdam archers' guild.

The artist has chosen the objects shown for their magnificent colour and texture. The sparkle of the lobster, the gleam of the lemon, the subtle texture of the carpet, all demonstrate the play of light over different surfaces. A contemporary viewer would have recognised the objects as expensive luxury items that only the wealthy would have been able to afford.

Key facts

Artist dates
1619 - 1693
Full title
Still Life with the Drinking-Horn of the Saint Sebastian Archers' Guild, Lobster and Glasses
Date made
about 1653
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
86.4 x 102.2 cm
Inscription summary
Acquisition credit
Bequeathed by R.S. Newall, 1978
Inventory number
Location in Gallery