Monday, June 19, 2017

Paintings of Fruit Vegetables Flowers and Wallpaper

Vincent van Gogh
Still-life with Quinces
oil on canvas
Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden

Paul Cézanne
Still-life with Onions
ca. 1896-98
oil on canvas
Musée d'Orsay,, Paris

Luis Meléndez
Still-life with oranges, jars, and boxes of sweets
ca. 1760-65
oil on canvas
Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas

"I find myself inclined, my friend, to demonstrate to you how it's exceedingly rare for us to speak the truth without lying.  To this end I take a very simple object, a beautiful antique bust of Socrates, Aristides, Marcus Aurelius, or Trajan, and before this bust I place the Abbé Morellet, Marmontel, and Naigeon, all three charged with writing their thoughts in a letter to you the next day.  The result would be three very different kinds of encomia.  To which of them would you subscribe?  To the cold assessment of the Abbé?  To the epigrammatic, ingeniously phrased verdict of the academician?  Or to the ardent text of the younger man?  As many different judgments as men.  We're each organized differently.  None of our sensibilities are exactly alike.  We all make use, in our various ways, of an instrument in itself corrupt, employing a dialect prone to express either too much or too little and we address the sounds of this instrument to a hundred people who listen, understand, think, and feel quite differently from one another.  Nature has bestowed upon us, in the sensory faculties, a set of little boxes in which it traces the profile of truth.  The beautiful, the rigorous, the accurate tracing will be the one that conforms at all points to the impression and so produces its double.  The tracings of a man whose senses are acute and who's possessed of exceptional taste will provide the closest approximation.  Those of the enthusiast, of the sensitive man with a volatile, hasty, violent, and admiring temperament will omit a great deal; while the tracings of the cold, mean-spirited, jealous critic are deforming.  His chisel is directed by ignorance or passion, demarcating lines which diverge first to one side, then to the other.  And envy cuts into the profile, resulting in an image which bears no resemblance to anything."

 Denis Diderot, from The Salon of 1767, translated by John Goodman (Yale University Press, 1995)

Alexei von Jawlensky
Still-life with bottle, bread, and red wallpaper with swallows
oil on cardboard
Albertina, Vienna

Roger Fry
Still-life with blue bottle
oil on canvas
Yale Center for British Art

Juan de Espinosa
Still-life with grapes, flowers, shells
before 1659

Juan van der Hamen
Still-life with fruit and glassware
coil on anvas
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Henri Fantin-Latour
Still-life with primroses, pears, and pomegranates
ca. 1890
oil on canvas
Kröller-Müller Museum, Netherlands

"If these students should be inclined to profit further from my advice, I'd say to them: Hasn't it been long enough for you to see only a portion of the objects you copy?  Try, my friends, to imagine that the entire figure is transparent, and that your eyes look out from its center.  From there you'll observe the complete exterior disposition of the machine; you'll see how some parts are extended while others are contracted, how the former stretch out while the latter expand; and, consistently preoccupied by the overall effect, by the whole, you'll succeed in showing in that part of the object presented in your drawing everything that would correspond with it but that's not visible, and though displaying only one of its views to me you'll oblige my imagination to envision the opposite view as well; and it's then that I'll write that you're a surprising draftsman."

– Denis Diderot, from The Salon of 1765, translated by John Goodman (Yale University Press, 1995)

Anton Faistauer
Still-life with fruit on a green cloth
oil on canvas
Galerie Belvedere, Vienna

Paul Gauguin
Still-life with peaches
ca. 1889
oil on canvas
Harvard Art Museums

Pedro de Camprobín
Writing-desk with small chest and fruit bowl
ca. 1630-40
oil on canvas
Fundación Banco Santander, Madrid

Louise Moillon
Basket of peaches with quinces and plums
after 1641
oil on canvas
Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Claude Monet
Jar of Peaches
oil on canvas
Galerie Neue Meister, Dresden

Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin
Bowl of plums
oil on canvas
Phillips Collection, Washington DC

"Here you are again, great magician, with your silent arrangements!  How eloquently they speak to the artist!  How much they have to tell about the imitation of nature, the science of color and harmony!  How freely the air circulates around your objects!  The light of the sun is no better at preserving the individual qualities of the things it illuminates.  . . .  If  it's true, as the philosophers claim, that nothing is real save our sensations, that the emptiness of space and the solidity of bodies have virtually nothing to do with our experience, let these philosophers explain to me what difference there is, four feet away from your paintings, between the Creator and yourself."

 Denis Diderot, from The Salon of 1765, translated by John Goodman (Yale University Press, 1995)