Still Life with Game, Vegetables, Fruit, and a Cockatoo (Main View)

Adriaen van Utrecht

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

On the back of a chair a white cockatoo perches, greedily eyeing the fruit--cherries, figs, grapes, peaches, and pears--that is piled below. Suspended from a metal game crown are birds and a hare; below, more game birds are placed haphazardly on the table. Closer to the viewer, artichokes, cabbages, a watermelon, and vegetable squash are thrown carelessly upon a dark tablecloth. In this abundant display of foodstuffs, Adriaen van Utrecht took great care in juxtaposing different surfaces: translucent grape skins, fruit rinds, bird feathers, rabbit fur, thorny artichoke leaves, and rich velvet cloth.

Behind the still life, a window opens to an outside view. No figures are shown, but signs of human presence are everywhere; the gastronomical display on the table describes nature as tamed by man.


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