Still Life with Goblet and Fruit

Jan Jansz. van de Velde (Dutch, 1619 or 1620–1662)


37.5 x 34.9 cm (14 3/4 x 13 3/4 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





A member of a prominent family of artists, Jan van de Velde distinguished himself among still-life painters of the mid-seventeenth century for his simple, yet elegant compositions featuring a few carefully chosen objects—here, a lemon, roemer (goblet) and imported wan-li porcelain bowl. The origins of such masterfully balanced still lifes can be found in Van de Velde’s native Haarlem. In this city, Pieter Claesz and Willem Heda pioneered the tradition of depicting simple Dutch meals monochromatically. Van de Velde remained faithful to the studied, objective quality of his predecessors’ work, closely observing the unique manner in which light responded to diverse surfaces, such as glass, porcelain, or fruit. By mid-century, the artist had moved to Amsterdam, which, stimulated by Willem Kalf’s arrival in 1650, had become a center for still-life painting. Whereas Kalf’s colorful compositions celebrated the opulence of exquisite objects, Van de Velde’s canvases were more austere. Kalf’s dramatic use of light and warmer tonalities ultimately influenced Van de Velde’s later work.


Lower right: Jan Vande Velde ANO / 1656 / fecit


Henry Jacob Bigelow (b. 1818 - d. 1890), Boston, MA; by descent to William Sturgis Bigelow (b. 1850 - d. 1926), Boston; by 1927, from William Bigelow to an anonymous donor; 1927, gift by exchange from an anonymous donor to the MFA. (Accession Date: September 8, 1927)

Credit Line

Anonymous gift, by exchange