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Different but shining together

Posted March. 14, 2017 07:15,   

Updated March. 14, 2017 07:19


The European art in the 17 century, sponsored by the Roman Catholics and absolute monarchies, was splendid and three-dimensional. The art became bolder in terms of both format and composition to restore the authority of the Catholics, which had been undermined since the Reformation, and to boast the stronger royal authority.

The artists were significantly affected by the artistic atmosphere of the time. So was Spanish painter Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664). He respected the intensity and liveliness of the Baroque style of the 17th century. At the same time, he tried to develop his own aesthetic character and was recognized for his grandiose and calm art.

The artist died in Madrid, Spain. However, he worked mostly in Sevilla, a city of trade. He gained an artistic fame quickly in the lively city of robust trade with the new continent. It was thanks to his holy paintings that were both solemn and mysterious. With his excellence ability, he covered a wide range of religious themes ranging from a calm moment of a prayer and meditation to a dramatic incident of a miracle and a martyrdom. Churches and abbeys continued to ask him for religious paintings in spite of high prices.

The best religious painter of the time did not just paint holy saints and special monks. He also left a few pieces of still-life paintings about ordinary objects such as lemons and oranges, a glass and roses. A painting with several containers is one of them. It is a still-life painting that highlights the painter’s unique composition and disciplined expression.

Containers stand in a queue in a brown place, which looks like a table or a shelf as it is long and thin. In the center of the painting are a water jug and a vase with different heights and colors. At both ends of the painting were a glass and a water jug with different textures and decorations. The containers in the painting have different tabs at different locations and in different directions. Nevertheless, all of them reveal their sacred existence in deep darkness and soft light without any conflict.

It is probably because the still-life objects are in place, apart from their neighboring objects in a proper distance. Or it is because of stability coming from the round tin dish. The first impression of the painting where objects with different shapes, colors, textures and usages sit in a row is orderliness. Due to different thoughts and beliefs. we heard emotionally-charged voices and saw dangerous acts for the recent few days. As winter has passed, it might be worth asking silent advice for spring from the paintings with different objects shining together.