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15 October 2012

Golden Series: Pear, Champagne Grapes, Concord Grapes, and Peach with Handmade Cup

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This is another painting from my (fairly) new Golden SeriesRead more about it here. If you'd like, leave a comment or tweet about it.

During my day at the National Gallery in D.C. (part I post here), in addition to seeing memorable works by Peto, Heda, Mignon, Dietrich, Peale, Haberle, Charles Porter, W. M. Hartnett, Whistler, Twachtman, Eakins, and Bricher.... I spent time looking at the exhibition, "Elegance and Refinement: The Still-Life Paintings of Willem van Aelst" -- which I'm sorry to say just closed yesterday.

Although I can appreciate van Aelst's larger, complex compositions (and velvety textures!), for me, the highlight of the exhibition was what, I think, was his earliest painting in the exhibit: a small, intimate still life. I believe it was from when he was 16 or 17 years old. No photos were allowed, but I found one online here. (The colors in the photo are mostly wrong, but you get the idea.)

Here's some info on van Aelst from the National Gallery's site:
"Few artists were more skilled than Willem van Aelst (1627–1683) at depicting luscious fruits, luxurious fabrics, and spoils of the hunt. His renowned still lifes are remarkable for their fine finish, carefully balanced composition, jewel-toned palette, and elegant subject matter. Bringing together 28 of these sumptuous paintings and his only known drawing, this exhibition—the first devoted solely to this artist—celebrates the most technically brilliant Dutch still-life painter of his time. It is also accompanied by the first comprehensive publication on his work." [Link]
Finally, my two other highlights of the day were Dishes with Oysters, Fruit, and Wine by Osias Beert the Elder (1625) and Still Life with Sweets and Pottery by Juan Van Der Hamen Y Leon (1627).

The auction for Concord Grapes ends Wednesday, October 17 at 9:30 PM EST. View auction

All my best,

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