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Still Life

Willem%20Kalf%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Still%20Life%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%201653%2F1679%2C%20oil%20on%20wood%20panel%2C%20Gift%20of%20the%20Society%20of%20Friends%20of%20the%20Portland%20Art%20Association%2C%20public%20domain%2C%2027.1
Willem Kalf, Still Life, 1653/1679, oil on wood panel, Gift of the Society of Friends of the Portland Art Association, public domain, 27.1

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Details
Title

Still Life

Artist

Willem Kalf (Dutch, 1619-1693)

Date

1653/1679

Medium

oil on wood panel

Dimensions (H x W x D)

20 in x 16 1/4 in

Inscriptions & Markings

signatre: W. Kalf, lower left

Collection Area

European Art

Category

Paintings

Object Type

painting

Culture

Dutch

Credit Line

Gift of the Society of Friends of the Portland Art Association

Accession Number

27.1

Copyright

public domain

Terms

oil paint

oil paintings

paintings

still lifes

Location

Belluschi Building

Ayer Wing

2nd Floor

Laura and Roger Meier Family Gallery

Description

In 1639, Willem Kalf left Rotterdam to join the thriving community of Dutch artists working in Paris. Kalf remained in France until 1646, preoccupied mainly with paintings of humble farmhouse interiors and focusing on still-life elements. During this time, he began also to develop independent still life subjects of the type known as pronk, the Dutch term for ostentation.

Concentrating on compositions juxtaposing fruit and other foods with costly vessels of glass, metal, and porcelain, Kalf became one of the most respected artists in Amsterdam, where he settled in 1653. In his characteristically tight close-ups, objects are crowded together and glimmer in the darkness of the setting. Reflections define the presence of elegant drinking glasses in the shadowy composition, as Kalf uses his favorite device—a long curl of lemon peel trailing out of the tipped Ming blue-and-white bowl to define the foreground and hold the viewer's eye.

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