A large and handsome still life, this is a complex arrangement of forms, colours and textures. The collection of disparate objects on the table is intriguing and baffling; what is the item on the left, like a black gladstone bag with a fur brush in front of it, or emerging from it? Is that a reflection of the artist in the tiny gold box beside the bottle? The ceramic vase containing a paper scroll seems to offer a clue in its armorial crest to his nationality – or at least that of the studio: the closest match is to the arms of the municipality of Léon, in Spain. This may be supported by the pottery saucer behind the book, which could also be Spanish or Portugese. These enigmatic objects are displayed against a rich swag of chestnut velvet, with lengths of silk and lace tossed over it, which is set against the cool folds of linen on the near corner of the table. The work as a whole is an exercise in tensions and contrast – between warm and cool colours, hard and soft forms, matte and polished sufaces – tantalizingly composed and expertly painted.
ANON, SPANISH SCHOOL (1942)
Still life with armorial jar, statuette and book, 1942
Oil on canvas 120 x 99.7cm; dated 1942
Handmade replica of our Italian 17th Century Baroque frame
Overall framed size 140 x 119.1cm
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