“Stone niche with thistle, lizard and insects” is the title of this oil-painting in the collection of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge . It was previously thought to have been made by Rachel Ruysch, but is now attributed to Elias van den Broeck (Antwerp, 1649/1650 – Amsterdam, 1708) . Dated c. 1690 (1675-1699 ), it is a late example of a still life in which two snails can be seen in the foreground.
Upon a closer look, these snails appear to be a light and a dark morph of Cepaea nemoralis (L., 1758). Both shells are dextral, and naturalistically painted. The snails, however, are rather stylised and seem more like an artistic interpretation than drawn after a living specimen.