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Pieter Claesz. (Dutch, about 1597–1660), Still Life with Wine Goblet and Oysters, 1639. Oil on panel, 50.2 x 70.1 cm (19 3/4 x 27 5/8 in.), Gift of Mrs. H. P. Ahrnke in memory of her great-aunt Mrs. Francis B. Greene, 56.883 © 2018 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Like many still-life painters, Claesz. favored particular kinds of objects. The plain foods that he painted—bread, fruit, and herring— were those found on the tables of all but the poorest families in the Dutch Republic. This composition also includes tobacco spilling from a cone of paper. The capacious wine-glass found in many of Claesz.’s paintings provides a strong vertical element that balances the basic horizontals of the composition; it also gives the artist the opportunity to explore the related effects of transparency, translucency, and reflection.

Inscription: Center left: PC (monogram) / 163 [...]
 
Provenance: Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris [see note 1]; probably sold by Sedelmeyer to Francis Bunker Greene (b. 1844 - d. 1911) and his wife, Rebecca Andrews Greene (b. 1841 - d. 1905), Boston; about 1911, by descent to James Russell Chapman (b. 1851), Santa Barbara, CA; about 1938, to his daughter, Mary Chapman (Mrs. Hans Paul) Ahrnke (b. 1880), Lafayette, CA [see note 2]; 1956, gift of Mrs. Ahrnke to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 8, 1956)
 
NOTES: [1] A wax seal from the Galerie Sedelmeyer is on the reverse of the painting. The Greenes are known to have purchased at least one other Dutch painting from Sedelmeyer (MFA accession no. 11.1452). [2] According to information provided by Mrs. Ahrnke in 1957, the painting passed from her great aunt, Mrs. Greene, to her father in Santa Barbara, California, who owned it for twenty-seven years. Mrs. Ahrnke owned it for eighteen years before giving it to the MFA.
: Galerie Sedelmeyer, Paris [see note 1]; probably sold by Sedelmeyer to Francis Bunker Greene (b. 1844 - d. 1911) and his wife, Rebecca Andrews Greene (b. 1841 - d. 1905), Boston; about 1911, by descent to James Russell Chapman (b. 1851), Santa Barbara, CA; about 1938, to his daughter, Mary Chapman (Mrs. Hans Paul) Ahrnke (b. 1880), Lafayette, CA [see note 2]; 1956, gift of Mrs. Ahrnke to the MFA. (Accession Date: November 8, 1956)
 
NOTES: [1] A wax seal from the Galerie Sedelmeyer is on the reverse of the painting. The Greenes are known to have purchased at least one other Dutch painting from Sedelmeyer (MFA accession no. 11.1452). [2] According to information provided by Mrs. Ahrnke in 1957, the painting passed from her great aunt, Mrs. Greene, to her father in Santa Barbara, California, who owned it for twenty-seven years. Mrs. Ahrnke owned it for eighteen years before giving it to the MFA.