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Balthasar van der Ast, who made relatively often a ‘malacological still-life’, made this oil painting in 1617, now in the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, U.S.A. [1, 2]. While he painted quite often only shells, this is one of his few works where a living snail has been added.

CMA_2004-15_

Note the details on this Cepaea species, which is as naturalistically illustrated as the other objects on the painting. Typically in the style of Balthasar van der Ast. The animal is shown with all four tentacles, and even the longitudinal colouration on the neck is shown. And, more importantly, the shell is dextral…

CMA_2004-15_d

Notes:
[1] CMA, inv. 2004.15. Thanks are due to Cindy Mackay for supplying the detail of the painting. The full legend is: Balthasarvan der Ast, Dutch, (Middelburg, Netherlands, 1593-1594 -1657, Delft, Netherlands), Still Life of Fruit on a Kraak Porcelain Dish ,1617,oil on panel, 22 in. x 35 in. (55.88 cm x 88.9 cm), Museum Purchase: The Henry Melville Fuller Acquisition Fund.
[2] https://rkd.nl/explore/images/47857.

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