Pieter Claesz (Dutch, 1596/971660)
Oil on wood; 9 1/2 x 14 1/8 in. (24.1 x 35.9 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1949 (49.107)
This is one of the earliest dated still lifes by Claesz., a Haarlem painter who gave extraordinary presence to familiar things. Here a skull, an overturned glass roemer with its fleeting reflections, an expired lamp, and the attributes of a writer suggest that worldly efforts are ultimately in vain.