UTRECHT, Adriaen van
(b. 1599, Antwerpen, d. 1652, Antwerpen)
Oil on canvas, 216 x 301 cm
Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent
The painting comes from Ghent's Abbey of St Peter, where it hung over the fireplace in the kitchen. This monumental painting, with its realistically represented fish, shellfish and crustaceans, has a hidden moral message: distracted by the abundance of good things and their amorous thoughts, the principal figures fail to notice the cutpurse as he surreptitiously goes about his business.