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Still Life with Blue and White Porcelain

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Still Life with Blue and White Porcelain

Artist: Cristoforo Munari (Italian, 1667-1720)
Culture: Italian
Date: c. 1690
Medium: Oil on canvas
11 3/4 x 16 1/4 inches (29.8 x 41.3 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift in honor of Marilyn M. Segal by her children
Label Text:A still life is an image in which a variety of everyday objects, such as food, flowers, and household items, are displayed in various arrangements and settings. Recognized as a distinct genre in antiquity then largely neglected for centuries, still-life subjects experienced a revival in Western European painting beginning in the late 1500s.

Valued for their sumptuous detail, still lifes often contained religious, social, and moral symbolism for their contemporary viewers. Munari’s still life, set within a pleasant rural landscape, offers multiple viewpoints of a lavish Delftware dining set among sliced melon, peaches, and biscuits. While perhaps symbolic, the scene presented here may also refer simply to the joys of leisure and art itself.

Provenance: Purchased June 1, 1990 through (Sotheby's, New York, lot 45) by Richard D. Segal; gift 1998 to Duke University Museum of Art, now Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
Object number: 1998.22.2