Placed on a simple stone ledge, this bold arrangement includes a wooden box, a dark glass bottle, some walnuts, an elaborate Venetian glass, and several sweets called turrones. These delicacies are a mixture of pine nuts, honey, almonds, and hazelnuts. The picture may not represent an actual meal or snack. Rather, the artist played with contrasts and harmonies of shapes, textures, and colors.
During his short career van der Hamen, whose father was from the Netherlands, worked at the Spanish royal court and created biblical pictures, history paintings, allegories, and landscapes. He
is best known for his portraits and still lifes.
Ft. Worth, TX, The Kimbell Art Museum, May 11-August 3, 1985: "The Golden Age of Spanish Still Life: 1600-1650," cat. no. 14, pp. 128-9, repr. color p. 130. Toledo, OH, The Toledo Museum of Art, September 7- November 2, 1985.
CMA, October 21, 1986-march 8, 1987: The Magic of Still Life, Gallery A. no catalogue.
Palacio Real de Madrid (10/20/2005 - 1/22/2006) and Meadows Museum, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX (3/2005 - 5/2005): "Juan van der Hamen y Léon", ex.cat.no. 5, p. 79.
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (11/17/2006 - 3/28/2007): "Spanish Painting from El Greco to Picasso: Time, Truth, and History"
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (4/13/2008 - 7/27/2008) and Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham, NC (8/22/2008 - 11/9/2008): "El Greco to Velázquez: Art at the Court of Philip III", ex. cat. no. 56, p. 279.