RIJCK, Pieter Cornelisz van
(b. 1568, Delft, d. 1628, Haarlem)

The Kitchen Maid

Oil on canvas, 115,8 x 133,5 cm
Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent

The increasing interest in everyday reality was clearly expressed in the second half of the 16th century in the genre of market and kitchen scenes. Although images like this are not just straightforwardly realistic representations, their artistic significance lies in the lively and coherent manner in which the artist managed to represent a profusion of objects and foods. The genre was also popular in the 17th century and was practised in both the Northern and Southern Netherlands. An interesting example, illustrating a common pictorial type, is The Kitchen Maid, attributed to Pieter Cornelisz van Rijck (I568-I628). It shows a central female figure in a larder surrounded by still-life elements. She poses with her hand on a cabbage - a common erotic allusion in paintings of this kind.

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