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Still Life

Pieter Claesz, Dutch, c.1597–1660
Oil on panel
Made in
Netherlands, Europe
Current Location
On View, Gallery 238
24 1/2 x 19 in. (62.2 x 48.3 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
This breakfast piece, a name given to simple groupings of foods and serving wares, conveys a delicate balance between surface and depth, horizontal and vertical. In spite of its subtle relationships in color and form, the grouping engages the viewer as the knife and plate protrude over the table edge to suggest a connection between the actual space of the observer and the fictional world that the artist has created. Painted depictions of daily objects whose beauty may fade, and foods that may spoil over time, were often intended to inspire meditation on the brevity of life and the immaterial nature of virtue.
by 1906 - 1916
E. Hölscher, Mülheim a. Rhine, Germany [1]

1916/12/05 -
Julius Böhler, Munich, Germany, purchased from the sale of the Hölscher collection at Lepke's, Berlin, Germany, December 5, 1916, cat. no. 33 [2]

by 1920 - 1922
Goudstikker Galleries (J. Goudstikker), Amsterdam, The Netherlands, possibly purchased from Julius Böhler [3]

1922 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Goudstikker Galleries [4]

[1] A 1906 publication lists Hölscher as an owner at this time [Wurzbach, Alfred von. "Niederländisches Künstler-Lexikon." Vol I. Wien and Liepzig, 1906, p. 285]. According to a letter from Julius Böhler dated August 9, 1968, he purchased the painting from the sale of the Hölscher collection in 1916 [SLAM document files].

[2] See note [1]. Böhler could not say with certainty to whom he sold the painting; however, he speculates that it was Goudstikker Galleries since they possessed the work by 1920 [SLAM document files].

[3] See note [2]. The painting is also listed in the exhibition catalogue of the Goudstikker Collection in 1920 ["Catalogue de la Collection Goudstikker à Amsterdam: Exposée dans les Locaux de la 'Schilderkundig Genootschap' 'Pulchiri Studio'." Catalogue no. 20, The Hague, November 1920, cat. no. 22]. Although the painting is listed in a catalogue of the Goudstikker Collection for an exhibtion in The Hague in 1923, the publication was probably prepared before the sale of the piece to the Saint Louis Art Museum ["Catalogue of the Exhibition of Dutch and Flemish Pictures XV to XX Century from the Goudstikker Collection of Amsterdam." New York: Anderson Gallery, March 10 - April 17, 1923, cat. no. 23].

[4] Wire receipt from J. Goudstikker to the Saint Louis Art Museum dated March 28, 1923 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Adminstrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, December 8, 1922.
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