Willem Claesz Heda (Dutch, ca. 15941680)
Oil on wood; 19 5/8 x 31 3/4 in. (49.8 x 80.6 cm)
From the Collection of Rita and Frits Markus, Bequest of Rita Markus, 2005 (2005.331.4)
This "monochrome banquet piece," as these richly nuanced works are inaccurately termed, by Willem Claesz. Heda is the first example of this type of still-life painting to come into the Museum's collection. Like landscapes and seascapes in a tonal style, monochrome still lifes flourished in Haarlem from the late 1620s onward. Heda and Pieter Claesz (1596/971660), by whom the Museum has an exceptionally fine vanitas still life, were the leading practitioners. Works by Heda are especially prized for their mesmeric descriptions of metal and glass, which are here combined with allusions to human frailty and passing time.