Still life with fruit and bowls – Abraham Minion

Still life with fruit and bowls – Abraham Minion
Still life with fruit and bowls - Abraham Minion - 1

  • Posted by Abraham Minion
  • Museum: National Gallery (Prague)
  • Year: 1670

Overview of the painting :

Still life with fruit and bowls – Abraham Minion. Around 1670. Wood, butter. Z5x46.5

   Abraham Minion (1640-1679), a German artist and prominent master of still life, received his first painting lessons in his hometown – Frankfurt, later worked in Wetzlar and Amsterdam, and was trained by Jan Davids de Hem in Utrecht. There in 1669 a young man joined the guild of St. Luke. Minion successfully wrote 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 table utensils. The skillful picturesque manner and thoughtfulness of the composition give the canvases of this wonderful artist special beauty and sophistication. His works were highly appreciated by German collectors already in the 18th century, and in the next century became models for biedermeier style masters.

   In “Naturmorte with fruits and bowls”, the Ministry of Justice showed the maximum of its skills: the details of the objects depicted are subtly and meticulously drawn, their forms are beautiful and elegant. The pyramidal composition is verified and balanced, in it each object occupies a place strictly defined by its symbolic meaning. The picture is filled with philosophical and religious associations in the spirit of “vanitas” – an allegory of the brandy of the earthly existence of man. Here you can see open and inverted sinks that personify empty carnal pleasures, and half-cleared lemon, which, like worldly temptations, deceives with its external attractiveness, being sour inside, and broken plant branches – images of transience
and the brandy of life. At a distance are objects designed to recall the salvation of the soul: a bursting fruit of a grenade and white bread – symbols of the sacrifice of Christ, a transparent vessel with clean water – a sign of Baptism.