Sunday Masterpiece: Beyeren

Abraham van Beyeren
Still Life with Lobster and Fruit
Oil on wood, 38 x 31 inches

I only recently discovered van Beyeren's work. This could simply be due to gaps in my own knowledge, which is always the most likely explanation. But, if he is in fact an obscure artist, that is an unjust obscurity, as this wonderful, elegantly composed still life demonstrates.

I assume this painting was the victim of a bad cleaning at some point in it's history, or else he used some fugitive pigments. Clearly, the colors should be more saturated than they are, especially the cantaloupe. I would guess it's more likely the former; historically, orange was generally achieved with a glaze, and improper cleaning can strip glaze layers right off.