Claude Monet - Still Life with Melon 1872

Still Life with Melon 1872
Still Life with Melon
1872 53x73cm oil/canvas
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon, Portugal

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From Museu Calouste Gulbenkian:
This work was created in 1872, the same year in which the artist painted the famous Impression, Sunrise (Musée Marmottan, Paris). Although the layout of the composition was possibly inspired by Fantin-Latour (Table with Flowers and Fruit, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), who tackled the genre within the classical tradition, in this case an innovative approach to the theme has clearly been taken. This conception has a contemporary parallel in Édouard Manet’s Still Life with Melon and Peaches (National Gallery of Art, Washington), painted around 1866, in which the painter deliberately sought to instil inanimate objects with the subjective content of his personal vision.
An ordered sequence of spherical forms magnificently structures the representation – the fruits of the summer season establish a chromatic dialogue with the Chinese porcelain objects carefully arranged in the space – and allows the whole to be perceived as a coherent visual confrontion. The open-air aesthetic that was so dear to the impressionists floods the entire surface of the canvas with light, thereby granting it a unique originality. It is through colour, however, that Monet best expresses a scene that is fundamentally intended to be perceived by the senses.