“Still life with a plate of pears and cherries”, Luis Melendez – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Still life with a plate of pears and cherries – Luis Melendez. 1773. Oil on canvas. 40 one x sixty two cm.

   This picture is one of the brightest representatives of the bodegon genre, in which Melendez was a real master. His 40 four still lifes are currently stored in one of the most recognizable museums in Spain, which says that descendants praised the artist’s work, unlike his contemporaries.

   At first glance, the picture seems quite easy, because there are very few different objects on it, just a large ordinary plate made of snow-white ceramics with a blue border and a curly edge, filled with summer small pears, branches with ripe cherries, a couple of juicy apricots. All this solar splendor is placed on a large table with a rough, thick, wood table top, which is found in all still lifes of Melendez.

   Greenish-yellow with pinkish barrels pears lie in a plate in which are inserted cherry branches hanging on their ripe glossy fruits. The surface of the pears has a light spill, while the cherries seem to be varnished. This makes a pleasant game of textures, which is shaded by the dullness of dried leaves on the branches.

   If all the fruits were placed in the center of the canvas, it would recall the usual student work. But the painter obviously never feared problems, therefore, all over the countertop he has various fruits.

   Two large paired pears in one part of the picture on one petiole are distinguished by an attractive sunny “tan”. The smooth surface of their skin reflects and shades the rough and rough surface of the broken petiole, slightly dried greenish leaves with a brownish color. The catchy red color of cherries glows like precious stones on a black background of the table and wall, and their leaves with a serrated edge pleasantly contrast with the rounded outlines of the leaves of 2 ripe velvet apricots lying on the other end of the table."