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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)

Still Life with a Tankard, a Plate of Oysters and Glasses on a Table

Still Life with a Tankard, a Plate of Oysters and Glasses on a Table


Willem Claesz. Heda

Dutch, 1594 - 1680

Heda specialized in still-life paintings focusing on food and vessels for eating and drinking, but his stately images appeal as much to the viewer’s eye as appetite. Here, the architectural rigor of the display, which suggests well-being and order, is only slightly ruffled by a few disruptions—a fallen glass cruet, a tilted silver bowl, scattered hazelnut shells. Contemporary viewers would have recognized these irregularities as a reminder that nothing is permanent. The monochrome palette was fashionable in still lifes and landscape paintings in Haarlem, from 1620 to 1640.
Oil on wood panel
19 11/16 x 32 7/8 in. (50cm. x 83.5cm)
Bequest of Theiline Pigott Scheumann
Provenance: [Anonymous sale, Paris, France, Palais Galliera, Dec. 7, 1967, lot no. 136, reproduced (as dated 1656)]; {Jean Thèves, Saint-Nom-la-Bretêche, France}; [Anonymous sale, Hôtel George V, Paris, Ader Picard Tajan, Apr. 14, 1989, lot no. 219, reproduced]; purchased at auction by [Otto Naumann, Ltd., New York, and Derek Johns, Harari & Johns Ltd., London, 1989]; sold to Theiline (1931-2021) and Doug Scheumann (1936-2016), Seattle, Washington, 1989; Estate of Theiline Pigott Scheumann; bequeathed to Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, Washington, 2022
Now on view at the Seattle Art Museum


Exhibition HistorySeattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, SAM at 75: Building a Collection for Seattle, May 5, 2007 - Sept. 9, 2007.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Art Museum, European Masters: The Treasures of Seattle, Feb. 14 - May 19, 2013.
Published ReferencesVroom, N.R.A. A Modest Message as Intimated by the Painters of the ‘Monochrom Banketje’. Schiedam 1980, vol. II, p. 70. Cat. no. 354, reproduced fig. 95 (as dated 1656).

Naumann, Otto. Inaugural Exhibition of Old Master Paintings: 12 January–1 March 1995. New York: Otto Naumann Ltd., 1995. Reproduced n.p. [in “Part II: Paintings Sold in the Past”].

Ishikawa, Chiyo, ed. A Community of Collectors: 75th Anniversary Gifts to the Seattle Art Museum. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 2007. Reproduced, p. 19.

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