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Compositional studies: Chardin mid-late

By September 8, 2012November 3rd, 2021Studies


Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin took a fifteen year hiatus from still lifes.  instead doing mostly domestic genre works, many that he is famous now for.  his return to still life would be concurrent with a royal pension and residency at the Louvre.  access to far wealthier objet d’art would change the dressings of the canvasses into a wider array of luxury, for example the delft vase in the floral still life above.

Blessedly, Chardin still often holds on to his irregular slab surfaces in these later works.  The palette tends towards more mid-range compositions and the greater inclusion of whites added back into the finished work.  The edges tend towards being lost in shadow or at least darker ranges.  The strata tends to be very precarious between foreground and background now, often with the composition taking much more precedent over light-logic.  Raking cast shadows help to enforce the little horizontal movement in the work.  Tension is controlled with subtle light/dark but these pieces really excel in how they play warm/cool against soft/hard edges.  A feat impossible to reproduce in small quick pen sketches.  And yet, i take notes…



my apologies to the great master with my paltry sketches.

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