Still Life with Snake and Lizard

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


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

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View





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.


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