Abraham Gibbens

Still life with artichokes, fruit and a squirrel


Nicolaas R.A. Vroom, A modest message as intimated by the painters of the “Monochrome Banketje”, Schiedam 1980, Kat.-Nr. 272, mit Abb.;
Eric Coatalem, La nature morte française au XVIIe siècle, Dijon 2014, S. 174, mit farb. Abb. S. 175/176 (Doppelseite).

Sammlung Nijstad, Den Haag;
31. Oude Kunst- en Antiekbeurs Delft, Museum Prinsenhof, 1979;
Leclere Maison de ventes, Marseille, Auktion, 12.10.2016, Los 12;
Privatbesitz, Süddeutschland.


Apples, pears, apricots, red and white grapes are arranged in loose symmetry in a wicker basket. On the left, a branch hung with plums towers over the basket, above it is a long-stemmed artichoke, a culinary novelty that only made it into French kitchens in the 16th century. The fruit basket is placed on a stone tabletop, with more grapes laid out in front of it, next to two pumpkins, which are usually harvested in autumn, and two salsify, a typical winter vegetable. A squirrel has jumped onto the green-speckled pumpkin. The little “nest thief” helps himself to the seasonal fruits without asking. Little is known about Abraham (also called Abiah) Gibbens. Born in the Netherlands, he is said to have settled in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in 1629 and to have worked in Paris until the mid-1630s. In fact, all of his dated works that survive today bear the date 1635. Only still lifes have survived, which, with their balanced compositions, are close to the work of the French painters François Garnier or Louise Moillon.

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