Still life with fruit and a bowl - Abraham Mignon. Z5x46.5
Abraham Mignon (1640-1679), a German artist and prominent master of still life, received his first painting lessons in his hometown of Frankfurt am Main, later worked in Wetzlar and Amsterdam, studied under Jan Davids de Hem in Utrecht. There in 1669 a young man joined the Guild of St. Luke. Mignon successfully painted still lifes in the tradition of the northern masters. His paintings show all the abundance of nature: flowers, fruits, outlandish fruits, next to which there is usually a very expensive tableware. Skillful painting style and thoughtfulness of the composition give the canvases of this wonderful artist special beauty and sophistication. His work was highly appreciated by German collectors in the XVIII century, and in the next century became examples for Biedermeier masters.
In "Still Life with Fruits and a Bowl" The minion showed maximum of his skills: the details of the depicted objects are subtly and meticulously drawn, their shapes are beautiful and elegant. The pyramidal composition is verified and balanced, in it each object occupies a place strictly defined by its symbolic value. The picture is filled with philosophical and religious associations in the spirit of “vanitas” - an allegory of the perishability of man’s earthly existence. Here you can see open and inverted shells, representing empty carnal pleasures, and a half-peeled lemon, which, like worldly temptations, deceives with its external attractiveness, being acidic inside, and broken branches of plants - images of transience
and mortality of life. At a distance are objects designed to recall the salvation of the soul: the bursting fruit of pomegranate and white bread are symbols of Christ's sacrifice, a transparent vessel with clean water is a sign of Baptism.