“Copper tank”, Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin – description of the painting

Description of the picture:

Copper tank – Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin. 1734. Oil on canvas. 28.5 x 23.5 cm

   To understand the attitude of Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin to the genre called “still life”, it is enough to look at his picture “Copper tank”, which was painted in one thousand seven hundred and thirty-four years. A large, benign water tank can be called the most basic subject in the kitchen, and it became the center of the plot for the artist.

   A powerful tank stands on a small stool. Downstairs are other simple kitchen utensils – a pan, a black jug with a lid, an old bucket. This simple set of everyday things of poor people is perceived not only as a kind of documentary chronicle, but also as a way of life of the social stratum to which Charden initially belonged. He saw it once a day and was able to consider the peculiar beauty and poetry.

   How accurately Chardin uses color to convey the texture of objects! The tank faucet is polished to a shine with frequent hand touches, while the rest of its surface has a reddish-brownish color imitating copper. The bucket received an obscure green color from time to time and long use. A soft, dark color distinguishes the color of the jug. All aspects are highlighted with jewelry precision and filigree color and line. How precisely it is necessary to arrange the objects so that any of them, unpretentious separately, plays with a polyphony of colors!

   The composition of Chardin always meets the requirements of harmony and brevity. Impeccable balance. Such hidden nobility and sublimity with discouraging simplicity of content.

   The highest public admired the picture with admiration, despite the prosaic content. Surely, several reasons played – the high skill of Chardin and the ability to bring warmth and absolute harmony to his canvases. Many painters of the next generations adored Chardin, namely Cezanne. The style of both painters will be very similar, despite the century separating them."