Still Life with Snake and Lizard

about 1670
Otto Marseus van Schrieck (Dutch, 1619–1678)


Dimensions

Overall: 62.9 x 49.5cm (24 3/4 x 19 1/2in.)

Accession Number

1990.622

Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View

Collections

Europe

Classifications

Paintings

Marseus van Schriek depicted forest plants and animals with both scientific precision and mysterious, poetic overtones. Here, a snake and a lizard face off beneath a strange and seemingly gigantic poppy, a flower associated with sleep, night, and opium-induced hallucinations. A contemporary noted that the artist kept a menagerie of snakes and lizards with which he appeared to share a remarkable emotional rapport.

Provenance

July 15, 1970, anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, lot 132, to G. Bernier for £1900. 1975, Schaeffer Galleries, New York; March 1, 1975, sold by Schaeffer to George S. Abrams, Newton, MA; 1990, gift of Maida and George S. Abrams to the MFA. (Accession Date: January 23, 1991)

Credit Line

Gift of Maida and George S. Abrams in memory of Matilda and Samuel Abrams