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Still Life with Apples, Walnuts and Sugar Cane
Medina Valbuena, Pedro de
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Medina Valbuena, Pedro de

?, 1620 - Sevilla, 1691

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Still Life with Apples, Walnuts and Sugar Cane

1645. Oil on canvas Not on display

The flat gray stone surface with a hollow in the left foreground bears various sorts of produce, mostly fruit and nuts. This, in turn, draws attention to a deep dish filled with walnuts in the middle ground behind a quince, several chestnuts and four apples. Further back, various short lengths of sugarcane fade into the shadows. The elements are laid out in a traditional manner to insure the necessary degree of plausibility for this small, straightforward and unpretentious still life. The immediate foreground is occupied by the stone surface that bears the other elements. Its marked edge stands out to the eye thanks to a skillfully rendered chiaroscuro. From there back, the motives are ordered from small to large in order to achieve a progressive increase in volumes with varying degrees of lightness or dark. The central figures, which are smallest in size, alternate light and darkness according to their natural characteristics.

The overall geometrical tendency visible here reemerged in modern still lifes from well after the first half of the 19th century when French masters from Courbet to Cézanne took an interest in this genre. Here, however, we are still far from the aesthetic formulations of those later artists and their successors, whose geometric explorations eventually led to cubism. Little is known of Pedro de Medina’s life and works. There is little documentation, and only a few works are unquestionably by his hand, although many more have been attributed to him with less certainty. Still, his rather limited production shows a fine level of quality, including the present piece, whose skillfully coordinated composition proves quite pleasing to the eye. Equally agreeable is the soft lighting from the left of the canvas, which envelops the objects in a shared atmosphere that plays with the contrast between light and dark areas without any undue violence.

From a comparative standpoint, we should recall that, in those years, Seville was also home to Francisco de Zurbarán (1598-1664) and his son, Juan (1620-1649), as well as Pedro de Camprobín (1605-1674). These were the skilled still-life painters with whom Pedro de Medina successfully competed, as is manifest in the artistic values of the present serene and agreeable painting (text from Luna, J. J.: El bodegón español en el Prado. De Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, 2008, p. 84).

Technical data

Inventory number
P007923
Author
Medina Valbuena, Pedro de
Title
Still Life with Apples, Walnuts and Sugar Cane
Date
1645
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
Height: 43 cm.; Width: 60 cm.
Provenance
Rosendo Naseiro Collection, Madrid; acquired for the Prado Musem, 2006.

Bibliography +

Jordan, William B., Spanish Still Life From Velazquez To Goya, National Gallery, Londres, 1995, pp. 115.

Gállego, Julián, Tres Siglos de Pintura, Caylus, Madrid, 1995, pp. 143.

Cherry, Peter, Arte y naturaleza: el bodegón español en el siglo de oro, Ediciones Doce Calles, Madrid, 1999, pp. 259-261.

Lo fingido verdadero. Bodegones de la colección Naseiro adquiridos para el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006, pp. 79.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Memoria de Actividades 2006, Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, 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, Madrid, 2008, pp. 84/85.

Romero Asenjo, Rafael, El bodegón español en el siglo XVII : desvelando su naturale..., I & R, 2009, pp. 224 / 31.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2723.

Exhibitions +

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
25.06.2009 - 20.09.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
31.03.2009 - 31.05.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
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

Displayed objects +

Plate

Update date: 25-07-2019 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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