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.

[on loan]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1973-07-09 to 1974-08-26
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 74
  • Rosenberg, Pierre, France in the Golden Age. Seventeenth Century French Paintings in American collections [La Peinture française au XVII siècle dans les collections americaines,no. 103, 332-323, 373 pp. 202-203
  • Müller, Wolfgang and Silvia Berger, Sebastien Stoskopff: Sein Leben, Sein Werk und Seine Zeit, pp. 27, 82
  • Haug, H., Trois siècles d'art alsacien, pp. 23-72
  • Wise, Susan, et al., France in the Golden Age, Seventeenth Century French Paintings in American Collections, p. 3
  • Cohen, Ronald, Trafalgar Galleries, XII,no. 18, no. 11 p. 36
  • Haug, H., Revue des Arts,no. 3
  • Lorenzelli, Pietro; and Alberto Veca, Simposio ceremonie e apparati, p. 218
  • Hahn-Woernle, Brigit, Sebastian Stoskopff: mit einem kritischen Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde,no. 44 pp. 204-206
  • Sterling, C., Still Life Painting,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 802 p. 340
  • Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum,1980, p. 66
  • Le petit journal des grandes Expositions,no. 116 p. 3
  • Graham, F. L., Three Centuries of French Art,no. 1 pp. 16-17
  • Wright, Christopher, The French Painters of the 17th Century, p. 262
  • Faré, Michel, Le grand siècle de la nature morte en France, p. 129
  • Gazette des Beaux Arts, p. 3
  • Gruber, Alian, Portratstudien: Festschrift für Michael Stettler,fig. 1 pp. 212-215
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