Still Life with a Stoneware Jug, Berkemeyer, and Smoking Utensils

Pieter Claesz. (Dutch, 1597/1598-1660)

Currently on View in H215
Image Licensing

This still life is an example of a vanitas—a work that alludes to the transience of earthly life. Several of the objects suggest ephemerality: the short-lived pleasure derived from the roll of the dice, the fading warmth emanating from the glowing coals, and the fleeting sweetness of the white wine in the Berkemeyer glass. However, the presence of the pipe, stoneware jug, and shells also reflects the identity of the Netherlands as a major trading center. Tobacco had been imported from the New World, while the jug originated in the Rhineland and the shells in the Caribbean and the Indo-Pacific.

(David M. Koetser, London, England, and New York, New York), in the 1940s; {1} (Lilienfeld Galleries, New York), date unkown; Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Hope, Bloomington, Indiana, by 1947; {2} given by them to the John Herron Art Institute, Indianapolis, Indiana, now the Indianapolis Museum of Art, in January 1947 (1947.2).

{1} In a letter from David M. Koetser, New York, dated 15 June 1959, regarding another painting in the IMA's collection, Koetser mentions that the Claesz painting belonged to him "in the 1940s;" see Clowes Archive file (C10026).
{2} Letter dated 22 May 1947 from Henry R. Hope to Wilbur Peat, director of John Herron Art Institute, noting that he purchased the painting from Karl Lilienfeld in New York. Letter dated 31 January 1948 from Karl Lilienfeld to Wilbur Peat, indicates that Lilienfeld purchased the painting from "a reliable dealer in London." Both letters in IMA Historical File (47.2).

Object Information

artist
Pieter Claesz. (Dutch, 1597/1598-1660)
creation date
1640
materials
oil on panel
dimensions
17-1/2 x 23-1/2 in.
26 x 32 in. (framed)
accession number
47.2
credit line
William Ray Adams Memorial Collection
copyright
Public Domain
collection
European Painting and Sculpture Before 1800
colors

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