Artibus et Historiae no. 7 (IV)

1983, ISSN 0391-9064

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LUBOMÍR KONEČNÝ - Reflections on a Still Life Painting by Pieter Boel (and Some Suggestions on the Earl of Arundel and W. Hollar)

Pieter Boel's StiII Life with a Cat and Dead Birds in the Picture Gallery of Kromeriz Castle /Czechoslovakia/, painted in, or shortly before 1650, is revealed as having been conceived within the tradition of nature morte moralise, established by P. Aertsen, J. Beuckelaer, and their followers. In Boel's painting, the dark side of the human soul, symbolized by the covetous cat, was counterbalanced by the sound force of reason, alluded to by the fragment of an antique frieze represented in the lower right-hand corner. This relief is further identified as the Arundel "Scipio" marble now in the Museum of London. It is likely that the painter was acquainted with it through a now lost or so far unidentified drawing by Wenceslaus Hollar.

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