Willem Claesz Heda, Still life with a high gilt goblet.

Finding perspective fault in the oil or vinegar jug – or not ?

Behold: This is one of the key treasures of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam.

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Description of this painting: on a table covered with a green tablecloth we see two white, partly folded damask linen/silk cloths. Displayed are a tin plate with bread and two tin plates with oysters and pepper in a rolled sheet from an almanac, a small glass with red wine, a big greenish roemer glass with prongs against slippery hands, filled with white wine, an oil or vinegar jug made of glass made for pouring, the spout leaning left, a partly peeled lemon, a slender silver salt container, its inside gilt, a silver gilt ornamented tazza/goblet with lid, topped by statuette of a knight holding shield below and a ‘halberd’ weapon up high, to the right a polished pewter wine jug with lid and laid down horizontally a highly ornamented silver cup/chalice, with a knife handle at its foot.

Painted in 1635, oil on panel, by Willem Claesz Heda, 88 x 113 cm. Purchase 1984,  from family collection in Château de Choisey, first to Noortman (1977) then to the Rijksmuseum (1984) for 3 million dutch guilders with funding by various funds including the Rembrandt Society.

Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.collect.8634

As an avid art guide, one lives and learns. For about 20 years I have pointed out to my esteemed clients that the central perspective of this painting was 99% immaculate, except for the oil or vinegar jug made of glass made for pouring, which seems to have a misshapen character, accepting that the spout should to point centrally forwards. A client of mine, while in the museum, pointed out that the spout is actually leaning left on purpose, because these flasks were produced with either a right-leaning spout of a left-leaning spout.  The painter Willem Claesz Heda therefore gets 100 points out of 100.

Drs Kees Kaldenbach: „…he is wildly overqualified to be a guide . That is his secret… Trust me on this.” Gabe. Statement made February, 2017.