HAMEN, Juan van der
(b. 1596, Madrid, d. 1631, Madrid)


Oil on canvas, 28 x 37 cm
Private collection

This painting represents a chocolate service with a wooden box of packed chocolate, two lacquered gourd drinking bowls, a wooden milk whisk, napkins, a spoon and pastries on a pewter plate. The round, wooden box at right is tilted at an angle to display the packed chocolate within, the black decorated vessels are drinking cups, and the wooden instrument resting above the pastries is a whisk for blending the melted chocolate with milk. Following the Spanish colonization of Mexico, regular trade by the 17th century meant chocolate swiftly became a popular commodity.

Formerly the painting was attributed to Francisco Barrera, and later to Antonio Ponce, an assistant in van der Hamen's workshop.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.