collection
oilpainting: 62 cm x 47 cm
1914-CS

Trompe-l'oeil is a special and separate genre, especially in the northern Netherlands. Using plastic means, such as perspective, light effects and the suggestion of fabric, the artist aims to recreate an illusion of reality. He tries to compete with it and almost succeeds in eliminating the frontier between this reality and his art. Excepting a mention in 1659 as the Master of St Lukes Guild in Antwerp we do not know much about Cornelis Gijsbrechts. He only painted still lifes and trompe-l'oeils. His four-year stay at the Danish court signified a high point in his career as a trompe-l'oeil painter. The two works, with a curtain in mirror image are probably pendants. The vanitas symbols are quite obvious: the dancing teachers violin, the horn, the empty frame, the hourglass, the almanac and the pistol all refer to the transient nature of earthly pleasures and the transitory nature of life. Showcase still life in an open cabinet is also attributed to Gijsbrechts. The work is painted in an individual genre within his illusionist still lifes, the so-called trompe-l'oeil cabinets. The painting shows an open cabinet with silver inside.