Kitchen Scene

Peter Wtewael Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 637

Typical of Dutch genre paintings from the first half of the seventeenth century, Wtewael’s kitchen scene abounds in visual jokes of a frankly erotic nature, such as the prominent display of meat on a skewer. The grins of housemaid and errand boy indicate their enjoyment of one another’s company, while the lavishly depicted foodstuffs surrounding them allude to the pleasures of the flesh. Such combinations of risqué humor with abundant still-life elements had deep roots in Netherlandish painting.

Kitchen Scene, Peter Wtewael (Dutch, Utrecht 1596–1660 Utrecht), Oil on canvas

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