“Naturmort with a plate of cherries, fruits and cheese,” Luis Melendez – overview of the painting

“Naturmort with a plate of cherries, fruits and cheese,” Luis Melendez – overview of the painting
“Naturmort with a plate of cherries, fruits and cheese,” Luis Melendez - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Luis Melendez
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: 1771

Overview of the painting :

Still life with a plate of cherries, fruits and cheese – Luis Melendez. 1771. Oil on canvas. 41 x 62 cm

   The artist created 44 still lifes, each of which became a classic in his genre. This picture is no exception – a typical staged still life, which combines many objects with different textures and features of shape and color.

   In the background are large objects characteristic of the kitchen of that time. This is a small wooden barrel, other containers of wood, two cans tied with paper covers, in which there may be honey or homemade jam.

   In the center of the composition is a large flat roach with saturated red wine, a bottle with a short neck is plugged with a cortical cork. The foreground is a large head of homemade cheese of unusual shape for a modern person, a plate with light cherries with funny short “tails” and three large fruits – a filler, a pear and a ripe yellowish quince. There are all these items on a simple wooden countertop made of solid wood.

   Together, this could become the basis of a simple, but very tasty and useful breakfast in the rustic style. But for the artist, this is a way to demonstrate his skill in transmitting several different textures at once. Wood, clay, glass, waxed paper, soft and pliable cheese texture, cherry gloss and dense pulp of fruits – all together this literally makes real, tangible elements of this still life.

   The picture uses natural, natural shades, so the color scheme of the canvas is rich, diverse, but not flashy. The objects are illuminated by oblique rays of the sun, so light glare plays them, and shadows lie on the planes, giving the image even more realism and volume.

   The composition is “dense”, all objects on it are depicted close to each other, so they throw color reflexes at each other. This can be seen on the head of cheese – there is a light pancake from a white plate on it, and cherries make a color spot on the dark background of a glass cabinet.

   This work of art adorns the walls of the Prado Museum, demonstrating to the descendants the skill of its creator.