Joachim Beuckelaer: The Well-Stocked Kitchen (1566)

(Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

A so-called 'kitchen scene' (Dutch = 'keukenstuk') from the Flemish artist Joachim Bueckelaer (1534-1574). A kitchen scene is an elaborate displays of food and household equipment, usually has a biblical scene in the background and also usually has a certain message or allegory. In this painting a wide range with fruit, vegetables, meat and game is arranged in the front. In scene is the background is Christ in the house of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42). The symbolism of the painting is the contrast between the vita activia (= active life) of the foreground and Martha and the vita contemplativa (= contemplative life)  of the background and Maria: do not succumb to earthly temptations. Painting from 1566.

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