“Naturmort with plums,” Luis Melendez – overview of the painting

“Naturmort with plums,” Luis Melendez – overview of the painting
“Naturmort with plums,” Luis Melendez - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Luis Melendez
  • Museum: Prado Museum
  • Year: XVIII century

Overview of the painting :

Still life with plums – Louis Melendez. XVIII century. Oil on canvas. 62 x 41 cm.

   Outwardly, a very simple still life actually carries a lot of difficulties for the artist. It is important not only to convey the size and shape, the volume of objects, but also their specific features, for example, gloss, dullness, texture, density and so on. It is especially difficult to do this with fruits, vegetables and berries. With a lack of skill among the artist, they are obtained non-natural, “plastic.”. Melendez never had such a flaw – all his still lifes are extremely realistic.

   The painting with plums seems unpretentious, but, looking closely, it becomes clear that the master did a great job here. He set himself a difficult task that he successfully completed. He had to portray many dark-colored drains on a saturated background, as well as transmit several completely different textures: draining surfaces, figs, branches, leaves, wooden countertops, simple rough fabric and home-baking bread lying on it. At the same time, he needed to take into account the lighting and qualitatively transfer the volume of all elements.

   Judging by the fact that the picture is in the famous Prado Museum and still actively attracts the attention of visitors, the artist coped with his task masterfully. Indeed, the plums on the canvas are impressive in their volume and density, the branches of the tree with the leaves seem to have just faded due to the heat, and the bread seems to be producing a aroma, as if recently pulled out of the furnace.

   The background of the picture is neutral, dark, matte, so the bulk blue plums covered with a laceration look especially advantageous on it. They are in a picture of two sizes: the dish is filled with large juicy fruits, and on the branches stuck in the pile of drains, small fruits hang, more like ripe olives. A ripe black figs lie next to a simple, even rough wooden countertop.

   Rolling with glare at large plums, on the corner of the table, on a napkin made several times from simple fabric lies several crescent-shaped homemade breads. They have a pleasant golden ebb and perfectly shade the total dark deep color scheme of the canvas.