Clara Peeters: Still Life with Cheeses, Almonds and Pretzels (1615)

(Mauritshuis, The Hague, The Netherlands)

A painting by the female Flemish artist Clara Peeters (1607-1621). The painting shows a still life, a genre in which Clara Peeters was specialized. Shows are pretzels, several cheeses (the shape of the big cheese identifies it as a Gouda cheese), almonds, figs, raisins, Chinese ceramics, a plate with curls of butter (on top of the cheeses), bread and façon de Venise lidded goblet with white wine. A nice detail is the cylindrical hole in the big cheese. This hole is caused by the cheese drill of the inspector in order to taste the quality of the cheese, the top part was placed back by the inspector to prevent the cheese from rotting. The silver knife in the middle is a so-called 'brides knife'. Clara Peeters placed her signature on the knife and included a self portrait on the tin lid of the red jar - both are typical signatures of Clara Peeters. Painting from 1615.