Still Life of Fish and Cat after 1620

Still life painting features a reddish ceramic colander with several types of fish. In the foreground, a cat stands alert next to shrimp and oyster shells on a gleaming pewter dish.

Clara Peeters, Still Life of Fish and Cat, after 1620.; Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

Work Details

Still Life of Fish and Cat
after 1620
Oil on panel
13 1/2 x 18 1/2 in.
Gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay
On Display

About This Work

Clara Peeters’s considerable skill at rendering naturalistic texture and detail is on full display in Still Life of Fish and Cat. In this work, she realistically depicted household abundance, without the subtle moral or subtext often associated with still lifes.

The reddish ceramic colander holds several types of fish, including an eel. Its long, slender body forms a prominent loop that adds visual interest to the upper left of this still life. Peeters increased the illusion of space within the picture by including several reflections in the metal dish.

The varied textures of slippery fish scales, thickly glazed clay, cat’s fur, rough oyster shells, and a gleaming pewter dish enhance the sensory qualities of the painting. The cat, with its ears pointed back, stands alert to any potential interloper as it protects its fishy fortune. 

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National Museum of Women in the Arts