One of the most versatile genres that emerged from Dutch 17th century artistic specialisms, is that of the so-called 'pronkstilleven'; a laden table with a variety of rich textures, like ornate glassware, gilded goblets, exquisite nautilus cups, silver dishes, exclusive Chinese porcelains and costly fruits and other delicacies. Harmen Loeding was one of the virtuose painters of these ensembles, who followed the famous 'pronk' still lifes of Jan Davidsz. de Heem. In this 'tour de force' the luxerious objects are centered around a typical Dutch 'Pekelharingh', possibly referring to the 'Leiden's Onzet', a yearly feast celebrating the liberation of the city from the Spanish occupiers by the 'watergeuzen' on 3 October 1574.
We are grateful to Mr. Fred Meijer of the RKD, The Hague, for confirming the attribution to Loeding after inspection of the original (verbal communication, 3 February 2009).