Sunday, August 26, 2012

Elegance, Bounty, Bread and Dead Birds

We recently went to the exhibit at the National Gallery of Art Entitled Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst. Oh how I adore 16th-17th Century Dutch still lives. Especially the ones with deep, dark backgrounds and shimmering fruits, oysters, bread and flowers in the foreground. I like the disorderly ones the best of all, with peeled fruit, scattered crumbs, glasses of wine knocked over, and blood running down the mouths of birds and rabbits.

The Larder by Antonio Maria Vassallo, 1650
Still life with Figs and Bread by Luis Meléndez, Spanish, 1760
Breakfast Items by Pierer Claesz, 1646

and some lovely modern renditions, photographs by Justine Reyes:
Still Life with Banana, Purse and Change, 2009
Still Life with Pomegranate and Birds, 2009

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