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A Cockchafer, Beetle, Woodlice and other Insects, with a Sprig of Auricula

Photo credit: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

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Jan van Kessel was a versatile painter of still life in Antwerp, best known for his small paintings on copper on which he painted insects, shells and flowers similar to the works in Oxford. Together with 'Various Spiders and Caterpillars, with a Sprig of Gooseberry'; 'Three Butterflies, a Beetle and other Insects, with a Cutting of Ragwort' and 'A Dragon-fly, two Moths, a Spider and some Beetles, with wild Strawberries'; this little picture may have formed part of a larger set of painted fronts for small drawers in a cabinet. As his early work of this kind tends to be more meticulous than his later work and as these works are very neatly finished, they may date from the early 1650s when he seems to have begun painting panels of this type.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford



A Cockchafer, Beetle, Woodlice and other Insects, with a Sprig of Auricula


early 1650s


oil on copper


H 8.3 x W 12.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Bequeathed by Daisy Linda Ward, 1939

Work type



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Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Beaumont Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2PH England

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