Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Picture Study: Week 21

Sometime last December, I had purchased The National Gallery of Art 2009 Engagement Calendar at Borders. My hope was to incorporate some sort of picture study into our days beginning Jan 2009.
The calendar features one masterpiece a week. There's an inset with the artist's name and title of the piece on the left and a full-page color plate on the right. I liked that we could use this handy tool to remind him of the date every morning and have a pretty piece of art to study for the week. That's me...I need a multi-purpose tool or we'll never get it done.
My aim is to have him record just one simple observation per day.
Well I forgot all about the calendar amidst the holiday frenzy. So instead of beginning at January 1, we're beginning with this one from Jan 12 - 18.
Jacob van Walscapelle
Still Life with Fruit, 1675

Till now, DS has made the following notes:
Tuesday, Jan 13 - It's very still.

Wednesday, Jan 14 - There's a pomegranate.

He, he, he...well that's a start at least.

A biography of Walscapelle here.
A professional opinion on this piece (verbatim but formating mine):
...the artist has conveyed a monumentality of presence usually found in much larger and more complex still lifes. Bathed in soft light, every figural element quietly asserts its essential properties. The fa├žon de Venice glass filled with wine sparkles against the somber dark background.
The pomegranate bursting with seed invites the viewer to imagine its ripe taste, as do the grapes spilling over the parapet...the grapes as well as the wine had eucharistic associations, while the pomegranate had symbolic associations with the Resurrection. In this sense, Walscapelle's painting would have encouraged the viewer to contemplate Christ's sacrifice and eventual rebirth.


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