Charles Collins Lobster on a Delft Dish 1738

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Artwork details

Artist
Charles Collins c.1680–1744
Title
Lobster on a Delft Dish
Date 1738
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 705 x 910 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition Purchased 1981
Reference
T03301
Not on display

Display caption

Collins was an Irishman who specialized in painting birds, game and fowl, and produced numerous large studies of birds in watercolour. The lobster's strange shape was much favoured by the Netherlandish painters of sumptuous displays of food and wine. Their paintings celebrate and sometimes moralise over sensual pleasures, and were thought particularly suitable for hanging over sideboards and in eating rooms. Though clearly inspired by them, Collins presents here an unusually simplified and startlingly decorative version of the theme, showing the cooked lobster waiting in lone splendour on a bare larder shelf, its colour set off by the blue-and-white English or Irish delftware dish.

September 2004

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