A still-life of a silver cup, strawberries in a wan-li bowl, a loaf bread, raisons and three roomers on a table ledge decorated with a red table cloth
Adriaen Jansz Kraen
Haarlem 1619 – 1679 Haarlem
W x H
84 x 61cm
The still lifes of Pieter Claesz. and Willem Claesz. Heda attracted a large following, particularly in their home town, Haarlem. Among their followers there was Adriaen Kraen, who was registered as a pupil of the history painter Jacob de Wet I in 1638 and who became a master in the Haarlem painters’ guild in 1642. From that same year stems his only known dated still life, an upright composition with a cup screw, somewhat reminiscent of Heda’s work, but of a fully mature and individual quality. It would seem that many of the signatures on his paintings were erased in the past in order to pass them off under better known names. The present still life, among the works of the followers of Heda and Claesz., seems to fit best in Kraen’s oeuvre. Several features show a strong similarity: the sharp highlights and reflections in the glasses, the rendering of the bread roll, the round, marble-like grapes, and the prominent porcelain dish of strawberries all seem to connect it to Kraen’s work. The pal- ette of this still life is somewhat cooler than his usually is, however, and the shapes of the objects are les sturdy, and the overall handling is smoother, which calls for some reservation in the attribution. We want to thank Dr. Fred Meijer who identified this painting as being original by Adriaen Jansz Kraen on the basis of first-hand inspection. Oil on panel.