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'Cookmaid' and market scenes, popular in the seventeenth century, evolved in the Low Countries from a genre practised by Pieter Aertsen and his pupil Joachim Beuckalaer, which combined contemporary kitchen scenes with a New Testament episode beyond. Bacon could have seen such works on a visit he made to the Low Countries in 1613. An inventory of 1659 connected to the will of the artist's wife lists 'Ten Great peeces in Wainscote of fish and fowle &c done by S:r Nath: Bacon' (quoted in Gervase Jackson-Stops, ed., 'The Treasure Houses of Britain', exhibition catalogue, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC 1985, p.140).
Further reading: Karen Hearn (ed.), 'Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530–1630', exhibition catalogue, Tate Gallery 1995, p.220, reproduced p.221 in colour Terry Riggs October 1997.
Oil on canvas
H 151 x W 247.5 cm
Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund 1995