Still Life with Empty Glasses
Sebastian Stoskopff (German, 1597-1657)
On View

Sebastian Stoskopff employed a limited palette of subdued tones of brown and gray to depict this corner of a kitchen where glasses are washed and stored after a meal. The artist’s technique is economic and precise: thin glazes of white paint suggest the transparency of glass and an underdrawing indicates the rims of the glasses in the basket. The composition, however—stacked gold-rimmed silver cups, light-reflecting brass and copper tubs, a wooden implement balancing precariously at the table’s edge and delicate, transparent glassware—is a tour de force of illusionism. Though certain motifs in this still life undoubtedly carry symbolic meaning (the broken glass may refer to the fragility of life, for instance), overall it demonstrates the artist’s delight in the beauty of materials that convey varied textures and translucency.

Though the artist’s early training took place in Germany, he was living in Paris by 1621 where he associated with the painters who lived in the Saint-Germain-de-Pres area where many Protestants and a large concentration of Dutch and Flemish painters also resided.


  • Artist Name: Sebastian Stoskopff (German, 1597-1657)
  • Title: Still Life with Empty Glasses
  • Date: c.1640
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 34 x 43-1/4 in. (86.4 x 109.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1972.18.2.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Private Collection, Vienna.
Sale, Dorotheum, Vienna.
[Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, 1969, sold to];
[Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York; stock no. 6416-2693; offered 15 March 1972 and subsequently sold 31 May 1972 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

La Peinture française au XVIIe siècle dans les collections americaines

  • Paris, Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, 1982-01-29 to 1982-04-26

[on loan]

  • Phoenix, Phoenix Art Museum, 1972-06-05 to 1973-07-06

[on loan]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1973-07-09 to 1974-08-26

Devices of Wonder: From the World in a Box to Images on a Screen

  • J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001-11-13 to 2002-02-03

Three Centuries of French Art: Selections from The Norton Simon, Inc. Museum of Art and the Norton Simon Foundation_2

  • California Palace of the Legion of Honor, 1974-10-19 to 1976-06-15

A Golden Century of French Painting

  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1982-05-26 to 1982-08-12
  • Art Institute of Chicago, 1982-09-18 to 1982-11-28

Significant Objects: The Spell of Still Life

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2012-07-20 to 2013-01-21

Tulips are in Bloom

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-04-29 to 1993-08
  • Wright, Christopher, The French Painters of the 17th Century, p. 262
  • Gazette des Beaux Arts, p. 3
  • Wise, Susan, et al., France in the Golden Age, Seventeenth Century French Paintings in American Collections, p. 3
  • Haug, H., Trois siècles d'art alsacien, 1948, pp. 23-72
  • Haug, H., Revue des Arts, 1952, no. 3
  • Sterling, C., Still Life Painting, 1959,
  • Graham, F. L., Three Centuries of French Art, 1973, no. 1 pp. 16-17
  • Faré, Michel, Le grand siècle de la nature morte en France, 1974, p. 129
  • Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum, 1980, p. 66
  • Le petit journal des grandes Expositions, 1982, no. 116 p. 3
  • Rosenberg, Pierre, France in the Golden Age. Seventeenth Century French Paintings in American collections [La Peinture française au XVII siècle dans les collections americaines, 1982, no. 103, 332-323, 373 pp. 202-203
  • Gruber, Alian, Portratstudien: Festschrift für Michael Stettler, 1983, fig. 1 pp. 212-215
  • Lorenzelli, Pietro; and Alberto Veca, Simposio ceremonie e apparati, 1983, p. 218
  • Müller, Wolfgang and Silvia Berger, Sebastien Stoskopff: Sein Leben, Sein Werk und Seine Zeit, 1987, pp. 27, 82
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 74
  • Cohen, Ronald, Trafalgar Galleries, XII, 1993, no. 18, no. 11 p. 36
  • Hahn-Woernle, Brigit, Sebastian Stoskopff: mit einem kritischen Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, 1996, no. 44 pp. 204-206
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 802 p. 340
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form