Monday, November 28, 2011

When life gives you lemons

Paint a still life...

- Willem Claesz  Heda
- Jan Davidsz de Heem

- Willem Kalf

Two posts in one day? Yeah s'true. Studying for my Dutch Baroque test this Friday and I thought it was worth sharing. I waited all semester to learn about them and that class didn't disappoint. Yeah so they might not be the most exciting of paintings; they're of inanimate objects like vases, carpets, fruits, flowers etc... But they're delightfully beautiful and more often than not, they carry a moralistic message. Look at the lemons.
- Detail of a lemon from a still life by  Willem Claesz Heda

There are levels of significance: we all know they're sour and bitter, think of the senses they illicit, taste and smell especially in the middle of all the fine, expensive material objects. And then, imagine the difficulty in painting them, all the different textures: the pitted peel, the rough white rind and the shiny fleshy segments. This is an opportunity for the artist to showcase the virtuosity of his painting skill. Still lifes also address a larger theme known as vanitas - concerning the shortness and fleetingness of life, all things decay (like the lemons), glasses can be broken, life leads to death etc... pretty wicked eh? I've glossed over a lot but again a painting is worth a thousand words and I've left you three...

- Life is good

Listening to: 'Never Be Daunted' - Jaymay
Observations: Overwashed ma sweater... no more inside fuzzies
Craving: Less sinus congestion, more knowledge ingestion

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