On Dutch Still Life

Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by the opulent “banquet,” or pronk still life paintings that were briefly popular in the Dutch Republic. In the latest issue of the Revue d’art canadienne / Canadian Art Review (also known as RACAR), I consider why painters trained their meticulous capacities for observing and rendering on these piles of luxury goods. From the introduction:

As this study suggests, profuse naturalistic detail loaded these works with a visual excess meant to appeal to spectators informed by new methods of natural inquiry, keenly attuned to technical craftsmanship, and inclined to the thrall of visualizing economic affluence. As a representational mode, the naturalism manifested in pronkstilleven was itself a luxury commodity invested with a social capital that exceeded even the value of the painter’s skill, materials, and labour.

Jan Davidsz de Heem (Dutch, Utrecht 1606–1683/84 Antwerp) Still Life: A Banqueting Scene, probably ca. 1640–41 Oil on canvas; 53 1/4 x 73 in. (135.3 x 185.4 cm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Charles B. Curtis Fund, 1912 (12.195) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/436637

Jan Davidsz de Heem (Dutch, Utrecht 1606–1683/84 Antwerp)
Still Life: A Banqueting Scene, probably ca. 1640–41
Oil on canvas; 53 1/4 x 73 in. (135.3 x 185.4 cm)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Charles B. Curtis Fund, 1912 (12.195)
http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/436637

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s