Beer In Art #29: Van de Velde’s Still Life With Tall Beer Glass

Today it’s back to the Old Masters, a work painted in 1647, most likely by Jan Jansz Van de Velde III. The piece is entitled Still Life with Tall Beer Glass.

 

Click on the image above for a larger, more detailed view.

The painting is at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It’s relatively small, only 64 cm by 59 cm (25 in. x 23 in.) Below is the description of the painting from the museum’s gallery page.

Halfway along the wooden table the tablecloth is pulled back. All kinds of household objects and food are displayed on the tabletop. A large beer glass towers over everything. It is a pass glass, an unusual kind of glass that was used in drinking games. Also on the table are one or two dishes and a pewter jug on its side. Behind the pass glass are a firepan and a pipe. The background of this still life has been kept rather dark, and the objects almost fade into it. It makes the catchlights on the objects are all the more distinct. This was typical of the style of the still life painter Jan Jansz. van de Velde.

That page attributes the painting to his father, Jan Van de Velde II, whereas another page at the Rikjsmuseum website attributes the same painting to the son, Jan Jansz. Van de Velde III. Throughout the web, sources attribute the same painting variously to father or son so I’m at a loss to which one actually painted it. The one clue that seems to suggest that it was III is that Jan Van de Velde II was born in 1593 but died in 1641. If the date of the painting — 1647 — is correct, then it almost has to have been painted by Jan Jansz. Van de Velde III, as he would have been the only Van de Velde painter still alive that year.

Van de Velde III was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, in 1620 and died in 1662, in the town of Enkhuizen, also in The Netherlands. Throughout his career, he painted a number of still lifes, and several more with beer. For example, the painting below, Still Life with a Beer Glass, a Pipe, Tobacco and Other Requisites of Smoking, from 1658, was sold by Sotheby’s in January of 2009.

Then there’s this one, Still Life with a Pipe-lighter, from the Ashmolean museum at Oxford in England.

It was painted in 1651, and the museum describes the objects in the painting like this:

The objects in this painting reappear in many of van de Velde’s still-life compositions. The same pewter dish (or one very similar) appears in works extending across the artist’s career while the pasglas is found in works dating from 1641 onwards. The details refer to the pleasures of the public house: smoking, drinking and playing cards. The chalk would have been used by the card-players to chalk up the score.

Another Van de Velde at the Ashmolean was the painting below, Still Life with a Clay Pipe, where the Ashmolean has a little more information about the painter:

Van de Velde was born in Haarlem. The hard, brittle translucency of the drinking glasses which appear in many of van de Velde’s still-life compositions is clearly inspired by the Haarlem painter, Willem Claesz. Heda. The accessories in this still life, which include a clay pipe, a glass of beer, a bowl of burning charcoal, playing cards and a piece of chalk, can be found in the work of Jan Jansz. Treck, a painter from Amsterdam whose work would have become familiar to van de Velde after he had settled in Amsterdam.

And TerminArters describes the painting like this.

The hard, brittle translucency of the drinking glasses which appear in many of van de Velde’s still-life compositions is clearly inspired by the Haarlem painter, Willem Claesz. Heda. The accessories in this still life, which include a clay pipe, a glass of beer, a bowl of burning charcoal, playing cards and a piece of chalk, can be found in the work of Jan Jansz. Treck, a painter from Amsterdam whose work would have become familiar to van de Velde after he had settled in Amsterdam.

 

If you want to learn more about the artist, the ArtCyclopedia is about the only place to start. The artist was the third in his family, and not the most well known apparently. Presumably to avoid confusion, Jan is also sometimes referred to as Jan Jansz Van de Velde. His father, Jan Van de Velde II, was better known, and his grandfather, Jan Van de Velde I was fairly well-known, too. Both were also artists and draftsmen. Here’s a short biography of III from the Web Gallery of Art:

Jan Jansz. van de Velde was born in Haarlem to a Dutch family of artists. His father, Jan, drew and made prints, while his nephews Esaias and Anthonie (1617-1672) were both painters. Jan was trained in Haarlem, although who taught him is not known. He specialised in still-life painting. Jan Jansz. van de Velde moved to Amsterdam in 1656. His early still-lifes resemble the work of Pieter Claesz and Willem Heda in both style and content. While in Amsterdam, Van de Velde specialised in small intimate compositions of just a handful of objects.

 

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