(b. 1579, Antwerpen, d. 1657, Antwerpen)

Cook with Food

Oil on canvas, 88,5 x 120 cm
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne

The painting shows a cook preparing a meal and is set in a basement room. The woman is grinding spices with a pestle and mortar - there is a rolled-up bag full of cloves on the table in front of her - to improve the flavour of the vegetables (artichokes, asparagus and red turnips) and the different roasts. The artist's macabre sense of humour prompted him to depict the rabbit (on the left), both paws stretched out and flexed, as if with rigor mortis. Desserts have been placed on the shelf at the back, including a pie, lemons (one of them halved), a china bowl with strawberries and a bulging greenish jug which matches the two glasses with knob handles, hardly noticeable against the dark background.