|Born||1599 (Antwerp, Belgium)|
|Died||1652 (Antwerp, Belgium)|
This painting is one of a group of paintings that Van Utrecht produced in this form, beginning in the early 1640s, under the influence of small-format hunting pieces by Jan Fyt. A dead hare lies on a tabletop parallel to the painting’s lower edge with its back legs trussed together, with a number of birds around an inverted wicker basket. An arrangement of vegetables, comprising a melon, cabbages and globe artichokes, balances them on the right-hand side. Suspended above the two groups is a ring hook, such is used for hanging game, to which five birds of differing sizes have been attached. A light source presumably located outside the painting to the left casts a strong narrow shaft of light onto the arrangement from the […]
The painting comes from Ghent’s Abbey of St Peter, where it hung over the fireplace in the kitchen. This monumental painting, with its realistically represented fish, shellfish and crustaceans, has a hidden moral message: distracted by the abundance of good things and their amorous thoughts, the principal figures fail to notice the cutpurse as he surreptitiously goes about his business.