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A Still-life with Fruit and Lobster

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A Still-life with Fruit and Lobster Dated 1650

Not on display

During the seventeenth century, still life became a category of painting in itself, and de Heem was one of the greatest masters of the new genre. Here, he presents the viewer with an inviting feast of red cooked lobsters, ripe peaches and plums, and sumptuous bunches of grapes. These Mediterranean fruits would have been imported to the Netherlands at great cost. A painting such as this would have fascinated seventeenth-century viewers, not only for the luxuriousness of the objects on display, but for the skill with which they were painted. Although the lavish still life was clearly attractive in its own right, it was probably also understood as a warning against temptation and excessive luxury.

Glossary Open


A French term that denotes different types of paintings, such as landscape, portrait or still life. The phrase ‘genre painting’ is used specifically to describe works depicting everyday scenes.

Still life

A painting, drawing or photograph depicting inanimate objects.

Genres, Still life


  • Acc. No. NG 1505
  • Medium Oil on panel
  • Size 33.70 x 41.70 cm
  • Credit Bequest of Mrs Nisbet Hamilton Ogilvy of Biel 1921