Aug 7, 2013

Still Life with Herring, Bread, and Cheese

Still Life with Herring, Bread, and Cheese


Part of a set. See all set records

Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps

(French, 1803–1860)

Oil on canvas

Unframed: 63 x 38 cm (24 13/16 x 14 15/16 in.)

Bequest of Noah L. Butkin 1980.254.2



This painting forms a pair with the Still Life with Pipe and Matches. Along with several other paintings, they decorated the dining room of the artist's home, each painting representing a different stage of a meal. In this composition the artist focused his attention on rendering textures, which are as varied as the objects themselves: the skin of the smoked herrings, whose highlights echo the silver of the goblet and the cover of the pitcher; the spongy surface of the bread; the velvety crust of the cheese; and finally the soft wood surface (pine?) that supports this still life. The Latin inscription translates: "How virtuous and how great to live with simple things."

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