• Still Life with Attributes of the Arts

    Artist:
    Chardin, Jean-Baptiste Simeon. 1699-1779
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    112x140,5 cm

Chardin, Jean-Baptiste Simeon. 1699-1779

Still Life with Attributes of the Arts

France, 1766

The originator of the genre that has been termed “Enlightening Realism” was the great French artist Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin. The Hermitage is home to three of his masterpieces: two genre paintings, Laundress and Saying Grace, and the famed Still Life with Attributes of the Arts that was produced to a commission from Catherine II for the conference hall of the Saint Petersburg Academy of Arts. The Empress liked the picture so much that she kept it for herself in the Winter Palace. The still life dates from the late period in the artist’s career. The objects assembled in strict order – a painter’s brushes and palette, impressive scholarly tomes, a red morocco folder for papers and an architect’s drawings – are invested with soul by the invisible presence and labour of the Master. Lit by a soft light, the items reveal their picturesque beauty, an enchanting wealth of colours and seem almost alive! A model of the sculpture Mercury Tying His Sandal made by Chardin’s friend, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, a piece much admired by contemporaries, crowns the composition, as if affirming that the Artist’s highest reward is his own creation.

Title:

Still Life with Attributes of the Arts

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

112x140,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1926; transferred from KUZD

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-5627

Category:

Collection:

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