Still Life

Edwaert Colyer (Dutch, about 1640-about 1707)

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This highly illusionistic painting is an example of the trompe l’oeil technique, which is designed to “fool the eye.” Though the signature on the folded note left of center identifies Collier’s location as London, this type of painting finds its origins in the Leiden still-life tradition. The pamphlets and newspapers tucked into the leather straps comment upon international political events involving William III of England, including an attempted assassination and the drafting of the Treaty of Turin. This focus on the English king may have been prompted by the fact that William, like Collier, was of Dutch birth.

Provenance research is on-going at the Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields. Please contact Annette Schlagenhauff, Curator of European Art, at if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.

Object Information

Edwaert Colyer (Dutch, about 1640-about 1707)
creation date
about 1696
oil on canvas
19-1/8 x 24-1/4 in.
27 x 33 in. (framed)
accession number
credit line
James E. Roberts Fund
Public Domain
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800

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