Thursday, February 7, 2013

A Table of Desserts, 1640 and 1915

Jan Davidszoon de Heem and Henri Matisse

Above: De Heem, Table of Desserts (la Desserte), 1640.  The painting is in the style beloved  of that era, displaying conspicuous consumption, wealth and good eating.

 Below:  All of the same elements are in place: the tipped plate, the musical instrument, the folds of the table cloth, even the stove and chimney.  But Matisse's early style of Cubism makes the difference between realism and abstraction.

Has the sensuality of realism fallen away?  What could possibly take its place, and why?

In the artist's attempt to capture ideas without realism, as an exercise in composition.   Henri Matisse (1869-1954), Variation on a Still Life after Jan Davidsz de Heem's la Desserte, 1915

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