Still life with a peeled lemon, a pewter to the left, a roomer, a bread, a crab, a wine glass and a columbine cup on a table with a white wrinkled table cloth
Roelof Koets
Haarlem 1592/93 – 1655 Haarlem
W x H
93 x 70cm
This still life is strongly reminiscent of the work of Pieter Claesz. from around 1650, but the execution is not entirely up to his stand- ard. The handling of the white cloth, however, and that of the nuts and the crab come quite close. A very similar small silvergilt-cup appears in a still life attributed to Claesz. and Roelof Koets (as such in M. Brunner-Bulst, Pieter Claesz. [...], 2004, cat. no. 201, dated to 1652/53). It may well be, however, that that painting is by Koets alone. Roelof Koets is something of a cameleon in his work. In the second half of the 1620s, he painted several compositions in the manner of the Haarlem nestor of still-life painting, Floris van Dijck (1574/75-1651). Subsequently, he specialized in painting fruit, mainly grapes and vine, and apples, in a soft, almost trans- parent manner, which subject he also contributed to still lifes by Pieter Claesz. From c. 1640 on, he also painted still lifes that mim- icked the style, handling, and compositions of Pieter Claesz. A signed example in which he combined his characteristic fruit with a Claesz.-type still life is in the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, and another example, with a crab and a lemon very similar to those in the present painting, was with Lawrence Steigrad in New York in 2006. An interesting feature in this still life is the lemon, which appears to have been peeled left-handed. Almost all lemons in Pie- ter Claesz.’s still lifes have been peeled in that way, which suggests that the artist was probably left-handed. In other still lifes by Koets, lemons are usually peeled right-handed, but in this still life and in the signed example in Memphis they are not, which shows his de- pendence on Claesz’s model. Attributed to Roelof Koets by Dr. Fred Meijer (2018). Oil on panel.