Breakfast Still Life with Glass and Metalwork
Jan Jansz. den Uyl, Dutch, 1595 or 1596–1639 or 1640 Dutch
130.5 x 115.5 cm (51 3/8 x 45 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Oil on panel
Art of the Netherlands in the 17th Century Gallery (Gallery 242)
What appears to be a haphazard arrangement of precariously balanced objects on rumpled white linen is in fact a carefully structured composition, culminating in the Venetian goblet framed by the niche. Placed among splendid objects of pewter, glass, porcelain, and gold-plate, the extinguished candle and the pocket watch on a silk ribbon may be symbols of death and passing time. Den Uyl's name in Dutch means owl. He often "signed" his paintings with hidden images of owls, and one can be discovered here on top of the handle of the large pewter flagon at left.