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Elias van den Broeck (1649/50 - 1708):
Still Life with a Snake
A587; oil on canvas; 62 x 53 cm.
Inscribed: R. Ruijsch.
Bequeathed by Daisy Linda Ward, 1939; WA1940.2.63.
Formerly attributed to Rachel Ruysch, partly because of the false signature, this woodland scene is now attributed to van den Broeck by comparison with similar works like the Bird's Nest at the Foot of a Tree in the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, or the signed woodland still life in the Staatliches Museum, Schwerin. As he did in other pictures, the artist has pasted down real butterflies into his composition, a time-saving device for which, it is said, he was reproached by his contemporaries in Antwerp.
Information derived from the Ashmolean Museum's Complete Illustrated Catalogue of Paintings.