Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Classics of Still Life. Luis Melendez and his Bodegones

Last article was about the Dutch, this one is about a Spaniard, Luis Melendez who is regarded as one of the Still Life masters of all times. Melendez, unlike the Dutch Masters of the XVII century did not painted about the riches owned by his patrons. He used every day articles that had a practical use: jars, pans, pots, wine, boxes, drinking vessels, etc. 

Luis Melendez works were sober although sometimes very colorful. He painted the most intrinsic details of the objects he used, while arranging them in pleasant compositions. He choose objects with different textures which he painted to an excruciating detail as to show off his painting skills.

The first image at left been inspired by one of his masterpieces "Bodegon con caja de jalea, rosca de pan, enfriador con botella, salvilla de plata y vaso" (1770) which can be seen at right.

Another example is the image with watermelons that has been inspired by some of his masterpieces", specifically "Bodegon with watermelon, apples in a landscape" (1771) and "Bodegon with Melon and Pears".
Note that Melendez unlike the Dutch did not use peeled lemons most likely because the Dutch used them to mix with wine to decrease the alcohol content so they thought.
Both Melendez paintings can be seen at the El Prado Museum in Madrid, Spain. 

My photos can be seen at my site

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