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A Still Life with Fruit, Vegetables, Dead Chickens and a Lobster

Photo credit: The National Gallery, London

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This is a display of all the rich fruit, fish and fowl that could be found on a wealthy man’s table. Lobsters and chicken are placed close to the full basket of fruit – peaches, nectarines, a single black plum. A costly blue-and-white Chinese bowl stands next to it, full of wild strawberries. The pale stalks of bunches of asparagus gleam in the dim light, with lemons and artichokes pressing in around them. It’s a picture of abundance.

Pictures of this kind, without a focused arrangement and with little attempt at directional lighting to make objects and textures stand out, were intended to hang in the dining rooms of the wealthy – a background that fitted the occasion without being too demanding.

The National Gallery, London





Oil on canvas


H 118.8 x W 99.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bought, 1894

Work type


The National Gallery, London

Trafalgar Square, London, Greater London WC2N 5DN England

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