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Plate with Plums and Morello Cherries
Hamen y León, Juan van der
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Hamen y León, Juan van der

Madrid, 1596 - Madrid, 1631

Plate with Plums and Morello Cherries

Ca. 1631. Oil on canvas, 20 x 28 cm.

Juan van der Hamen y León´s output alternates between compositionally complex still lifes and works that are smaller in size and constructed more simply, such as this canvas. It depicts a pewter, possibly silver, plate holding a small pile of plums (or sloes), and cherries. As is habitual in this type of work, the plate is placed in the close foreground, sitting on the edge of a stone ledge or windowsill. Both the plate and the small pieces of fruit are illuminated by a strong external light that creates a remarkable play of shadows. The simplicity of this work recalls a series of fruit plates that were frequent subjects of representation from the beginnings of the still life in the late sixteenth century. Similarly small, intimate works can be found around the same time in Italy, by painters such as Carlantonio Procaccini (c.1555-c.1630) and Fede Galizia (1578-c.1630). In Spain -specifically in Toledo, where the genre developed in its earliest stages- the artist Blas del Prado (c.1545-99) gained fame with his images of fruits described as very well painted by painter and theoretical writer Francisco Pacheco. Throughout almost the entire seventeenth century we find plates of fruit that repeat the basic model that Van der Hamen has used here: Juan de Zurbarán (1620–49), Pedro de Camprobín (1605–74) and Juan de Arellano all executed similar pieces: very simple, direct compositions that are nonetheless marked by a conception of space and light that lends a solemn, timeless quality to the food. In his short career, Van der Hamen produced several tazzas de fruta (fruit bowls), according to the inventory of his possessions. Some of these works may have been models for elements to be incorporated into more complex compositions. Indeed, we find a plate of sloes and cherries similar to this one, though slightly more complex, in his Still life with flowers and fruit 1629 on loan from a private collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Documentation of small-scale still lifes by Van der Hamen in inventories of contemporary collectors suggests the possibility that they may have been conceived as a series. In fact, works such as this one could have served two purposes: as sketches or prototypes for specific motifs in larger still lifes and as works that could later be sold in their own right to a less wealthy clientele. The painter´s last work was a series of 12 small paintings of fruit measuring around 20 centimetres high and 27 centimetres wide, dimensions that correspond closely to this canvas. Andrés de Villarroel, silversmith to the king, owned several still lifes by Van der Hamen, some of which were small: a little silver plate with sloes and cherries and another little plate with pears and another with sweets or biscuits. The first of these could be this canvas in the Collection of the Prado (Ruiz, L.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 160).

Technical data

Inventory number
P07908
Author
Hamen y León, Juan van der
Title
Plate with Plums and Morello Cherries
Date
Ca. 1631
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
High/Height: 20 cm.; Width: 28 cm.
Provenance
Acquisition from the Rosendo Naseiro Collection, 2006.

Bibliography +

Cherry, Peter, Arte y naturaleza: el bodegón español en el siglo de oro, Ediciones Doce Calles, Madrid, 1999, pp. 154-155.

Jordan, William B., Juan Van Der Hamen y Leon y la Corte de Madrid, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 2005, pp. nº59.

Portús, J. (Com.), Lo fingido verdadero : bodegones de la colección Naseiro adq..., Museo nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006.

Portus J., Memoria de Actividades Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006, pp. 20-30.

Natures mortes de Sánchez Cotán a Goya a l'entorn de la col...., Museu Nacional d'Art de Cataluny, Barcelona, 2007.

Luna, Juan J., El bodegón español en el Prado : de Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, pp. 60/61.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 160-161, nº41.

Mena, M. Albarrán, V., La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, folleto, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 27 n.107.

Mena Marques, M, La belleza encerrada: de Fra Angelico a Fortuny, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2013, pp. 222.

Mena Marques, M. Albarrán,V. Azúa, F.de, La belleza cautiva. Pequeños tesoros del Museo del Prado, Museo del Prado - Obra Social ''La Caixa'', Barcelona, 2014, pp. 122.

Prado captive beauty : treasures from the Prado Museum, Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum, 2015, pp. n.36.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (desde 1856). Núm. 2908.

Exhibitions +

Captive Beauty. Treasures from The Prado Museum
Tokio
10.10.2015 - 31.01.2016

La bellesa captiva. Petits tresors del Museo del Prado
Barcelona
16.07.2014 - 05.01.2015

Captive Beauty. Small Treasures at the Prado Museum
16.07.2014 - 05.01.2015

Captive Beauty. Fra Angelico to Fortuny
21.05.2013 - 10.11.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia,
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

El bodegón español en el Prado
Alcoi,
24.03.2011 - 26.06.2011

El bodegón español en el Prado
Murcia,
11.03.2010 - 06.06.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
Valladolid
12.10.2009 - 14.02.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
La Coruña
25.06.2009 - 20.09.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
Santa Cruz de Tenerife
31.03.2009 - 31.05.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
Zaragoza
24.09.2008 - 30.11.2008

Naturalezas muertas. De Sánchez Cotán a Goya. En el entorno de la Colección Naseiro
Barcelona
26.03.2007 - 24.06.2007

Lo fingido verdadero. Bodegones españoles de la colección Naseiro adquiridos para el Prado.<br />
Madrid
24.10.2006 - 07.01.2007

Location +

Room 018 (On Display)

Expuesto
Update date: 30-06-2016 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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