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Breakfast Still Life

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Willem Claesz. Heda
Dutch, 1594-1680

About this artwork

Willem Claesz. Heda’s still life may look like a snapshot of an abandoned meal, but the scene is carefully arranged, revealing the artist’s ability to create complex but harmonious compositions. Heda used the pewter chargers as horizontal elements in the foreground and the glass vessels and salt-cellar as verticals in the background, with the overturned ewer positioned diagonally to connect the two planes. Faint creases in the tablecloth, plates hanging precariously off the table’s edge, and the window reflected on the pitcher’s surface demonstrate the artist’s observant eye as well as his virtuosity in handling paint. Executed in a limited palette of silvers, grays, and browns, this work is an example of the “tonal trend” in Dutch 17th-century painting.


On View, Gallery 212


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Willem Claesz. Heda


Breakfast Still Life


Netherlands (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


Signed and dated on the bottom left corner of the white table cloth: HEDA 164[7]


70 × 98 cm (27 9/16 × 38 5/8 in.); 69.9 × 97.8 × 7 cm (27 1/2 × 38 1/2 × 2 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Bequest of Donald and Carol Asher

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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