Private collection, Germany
Abraham Susenier was a still life and landscape master whose few remaining paintings reflect the work of Jan Davidz de Heem and Abraham van Beyeren. His breakfast pieces most often display fruit, crabs, bread, glasses, and metal ware on wooden tabletops with crumpled velvet cloths, often with vine branches trailing over them. Susenier also painted Vanitas still lifes, but less frequently. His palette is light in tone, leaning toward the monochromatic, with accurately painted subjects.
Our painting is a beautifully rendered still life celebrating the pleasures of the vine. The composition is dominated by a gathering of succulent grapes. Tucked amongst them is a glass beaker of white wine and a knife, while in the foreground, placed on a silver platter, sits a peeled and sliced lemon, its rind curling over the plate and down the table. A similar piece by Susenier is housed in the Ashmolean Museum, with the same lemon and its curling peel depicted in the left foreground of the composition. The objects in our work are arranged on a tabletop draped in dark velvet, adding to the refined air of this wonderfully detailed, and masterfully painted still life.