Benjamin Blake

Still Life


Not on display

Benjamin Blake c.1790–c.1830
Oil paint on wood
Support: 254 × 200 mm
Bequeathed by Sir Henry Layard GCB 1913

Display caption

Originally from Wiltshire, Blake worked for most of his life in London, producing small, gem-like larder and game pieces redolent of country life. This represents a larder with a hung heron and drake, a pigeon on the shelf, rough country vessels, and a riding crop and a key hanging on the wall. Together with a coat of arms on the carved shelf, all these combine to suggest the wholesome lifestyle of a well-run if somewhat rustic manor house. The piece harks back to seventeenth-century Netherlandish prototypes and it is no suprise to learn that Blake was employed by dealers to copy old Dutch pictures, some of which were not sold under his own name.

Gallery label, August 2004

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