Pieter Gerritsz. van Roestraten - Still life with a Silver Ginger Jar and a Teapot on a Ledge
Pieter Gerritsz. van Roestraten
Still life with a Silver Ginger Jar and a Teapot on a Ledge
Oil on canvas. 71 x 61 cm.
According to the concepts of the 17th century, the artistic quality of a still life is determined not only by the perfect reproduction, but also the choice of objects. The rank and individuality of the things are characterised by their contrast and comparison with neighbouring objects. This results in an unspoken statement, the contextual meaning of a still life. The vanitas still life is hereby the easiest to understand, clarifying the futility and transience of the human pursuit of wealth and fame. In the competitive art market of the Netherlands, it was important for the artist to achieve an unmistakable style and an immediately recognisable signature. For this reason, they specialised in certain genres and themes.
The Haarlem painter Pieter van Roestraeten undoubtedly succeeds in this. His works are tastefully composed and brilliantly painted. Certain objects are distinctive in his œuvre, ones which he repeatedly paints, almost as a leitmotif, and in various arrangements. These objects include the relief-chased silver ginger pot, the brown stoneware teapot and in particular the fine Chinese blue and white porcelain tea bowl. These items are usually arranged, as in the present picture, on a marble ledge or platter.
Roestraeten was a student of Frans Hals and married his daughter Adriaentje in 1654. He lived with his wife in Amsterdam before moving to London in 1663 where he remained until his death in 1700.
We would like to thank Dr Fred Meijer for the confirmation of the picture as a work by Pieter van Roestraeten.
With Jack Kilgore, New York.
Gabriel Diss and Laurent Thurnherr (eds.): Un cabinet imaginaire. Natures Mortes et Vanités du XVIIème Siècle, Vic-sur-Seille, Musée départemental Georges de La Tour, Bremen 2005, exhib. cat, pp. 32-33, reproduced.
Un cabinet imaginaire. Natures Mortes et Vanités du XVIIème siècle, Vic-sur-Seille, Musée départemental Georges de La Tour, 10 May - 4 September 2005.