• Dessert

    Artist:
    Kalf, Willem. 1619-1693
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    105x87,5 cm

Kalf, Willem. 1619-1693

Dessert

Holland, 1653-1654

One of the gems of the Hermitage collection is the still life Dessert by the brilliant Dutch Golden Age artist Willem Kalf, who was unrivalled in his ability to translate the prose of material objects into the poetic language of painting. Kalf, who studied in Paris, won recognition with his depiction of scenes from peasant life, but his real fame was founded on the still lifes that allowed this master to exercise all aspects of his talent. The painting trade brought Kalf’s family a good steady income and he was able to buy expensive articles for his compositions. Throughout his life he took a keen interest in the play of light on various materials. He painted the texture of silk and woollen fabrics, recreated the sheen of gold, the soft gleam of porcelain and seashells and delighted in the mysterious flickering edges of Venetian glassware. It is as if a sudden flash of light has ripped the table covered with a carpet from out of the darkness. The bright flaring colours of the fruit in the foreground produce a play of reflexes on the surfaces of the glass roemer goblet and the silver plate. But the darkness has not vanished completely: it thickens in the depths, almost dissolving the shapes and outlines of the silver jug and the tall narrow drinking vessel. On the borders of the light and dark zones, in the centre of the table, like some fabulous knight, there stands an expensive lidded Augsburg goblet towering proudly above its surroundings.

Title:

Dessert

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

105x87,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1910; handed over from the P.P. Semenov-Tyan-Shansky collection

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-2822

Category:

Collection:

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