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

Creation date
oil on panel
17-1/2 x 23-1/2 in.
Credit line
William Ray Adams Memorial Collection
Accession number
Currently On View In
William C. Griffith Jr. and Carolyn C. Griffith Gallery - H215

Pieter Claesz is one of the most important still life painters of the 17th century. His compositions of ordinary objects are characterized by their harmonious restraint and carefully observed simplicity. This painting features a stoneware jug, a glass berkemeyer, a pipe, a snuff box, dice and shells, objects associated with recreational pursuits like smoking, drinking, gaming and collecting.

The monochrome tonality of the still life reflects a general tendency in Dutch painting that can be seen in landscapes of the 1640s by painters like Jan van Goyen and Simon de Vlieger.

(David M. Koetser, London and 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, 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).
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