In this work an old woman sits holding a spoon over the eggs broken into a bowl.

A young boy watches, holding a flask of wine and a melon. Their actions are frozen, the two do not communicate, their gazes never meeting. Instead, the momentous encounters in this picture all occur in the realm of illusionism - in the light reflected from a pestle and mortar, the stains of an earthenware jug, the uniqueness of an onion or chili, or the ear of the old woman, conjured forth from under the folds of her headscarf. This kitchen scene or bodegon was painted from life models that appear as motionless as the objects. The painting belongs to Velasquez's earlier group of works, often genre scenes featuring figures and still-lifes and is part of a series of tavern and kitchen scenes painted in Seville prior to 1623.


Wolletts sale 1813 (imported by Le Brun and bought by Peach); Smith of Bond Street, a Yorkshire collector; 1863 JC Robinson for Francis Cook.

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