• France, 1866
  • Oil on canvas
  • Inv. 67
  • Signed: Fantin 1866

Still Life or ‘La Table Garnie’

Henri Fantin-Latour

Shown at the Salon of 1866, this still life is one of a vast number of paintings in the same genre that the artist produced during the 1860s and which, along with the paintings of bouquets of flowers, were remarkably popular among an enthusiastic English clientele, to whom he was introduced by Whistler. Dating from the same year as this painting and conforming to a similar arrangement are the works Still Life with Flowers and Fruit (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) and Flowers and Fruit (Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio) which in the past also belonged to Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian.

This composition, which is entirely finished set in neutral background, places particular emphasis on the line of the objects artificially arranged on the table, translating, as Whistler pointed out about Fantin’s painting, ‘charm and simplicity’. The chromatic harmony of the assembly obtained from patient and objective observation is enhanced by the variety of flowers and fruit carefully laid out on the surface of the composition. All of these elements accurately reproduce the volume and consistency of the objects, on which the artist confers a tactile quality through the rigorous attention to detail for which he was known.

Reginald Davis Collection. Acquired by Calouste Gulbenkian through Colnaghi, Christie’s, London, 9 May 1924 (no. 48).

H.60 cm; W. 73 cm

Lisbon 2009

Henry Fantin-Latour. 1836-1904, exhibition catalogue. Lisbon: Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, p. 92, 195, no. 25.

Sampaio 2009

Luísa Sampaio, Painting in the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. Lisbon/Milan: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum/Skira, 2009, pp. 208-09, cat. 93.

Lisbon 2010-11

In the Presence of Things. Four Centuries of European Still-Life Painting, vol. II, exhibition catalogue. Lisbon: Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, 2010, pp. 48-49, cat. 7.

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