The Magic of Things: Still-life Paintings 1500-1800

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2008-07-01
  • Publisher: Distributed Art Pub Inc
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Of painting's enduring genres, it may be the still life that offers the most brazen opportunities for virtuoso flourish, and that most closely approximates painting itself, as an art of arrangement of color, texture and light. Glistening dew drops on flower petals, contorted reflections of light on glass goblets and silver dishes, candied sweets heaped up in Chinese porcelain, the textures of fur, cloth, metal and bone--the rendering of such objects demands of an artist not only skill but an instinct for the thingnessof things. Chardin, for example, was so gifted in this respect that certain admirers have been known to literally lick his paintings. However, skill, as always, is not the whole story: "One uses color but one paints with feelings," he once explained to a colleague hoping for tips on technique. For the viewer, the still life demands no extensive training in art theory, since its endless rewards are plain to the eye and mind--excepting the obvious symbolism that attends such items as skulls or fallen petals. This volume boasts a splendid selection of works by such masters of the genre as Jan Brueghel the Elder, Georg Flegel, Sebastian Stoskopff, Jan Davidsz de Heem, Abraham Mignon and Chardin, culled from first-class collections from the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt, the Kunstmuseum Basel and the Hessisches Landesmuseum in Darmstadt.

Table of Contents

By Way of Introductionp. 13
The Still Life before the Still Lifep. 21
How Netherlandish Artists Brought Still-Life Painting to the Banks of the River Mainp. 85
Vanitas and Banquet Still Lifep. 149
From the Waters: Fish Still Lifep. 185
The "Noble" Game Piece: Origins and Efflorescencep. 215
Cartouche and Niche Paintingsp. 239
Jan Davidsz. de Heem and His Circlep. 265
The Sottoboscop. 291
Willem Van Aelst and His Schoolp. 309
Still-Life Painting in the Eighteenth Centuryp. 333
Further Literature on the Catalogue Essay Topicsp. 362
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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