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Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables
Hamen y León, Juan van der
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Hamen y León, Juan van der

Madrid, 1596 - Madrid, 1631

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Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables

1625. Oil on canvas.
Room 008A

Juan van der Hamen y León attained notable fame as a painter of still lifes in the court in Madrid. His early death in 1631 explains the concentration of his works from the 1620s, a brief period that nevertheless offers an interesting evolution in the typologies of his paintings, suggesting that he was open to incorporating aspects of other artists´ work. Still life with fruits and vegetables presents a composition derived from the model created by Juan Sánchez Cotán around 1600 in Toledo. Van der Hamen regularly imitated Sánchez Cotán in his early years, but for him to do this in 1625 seems somewhat backward-looking. This was a year in which the Hispano-Flemish artist produced comparatively few still lifes, devoting most of his time, instead, to portraits and religious paintings. The tenebrism of this arrangement, the attention to the minutest detail, the monumental symmetry and the sense of space are aspects of the work that place it within the austere essentialist tradition in which Sánchez Cotán and, later, Francisco de Zurbarán are habitually counted. These artists were responsible for the kind of still lifes that Mercedes Replinger describes as enigmatic and introspective. Their work is considered the paragon of the still-life genre in Spain. The humbleness of the objects represented -a simple wicker basket overflowing with apricots and branches full of plums, flanked on one side by a squash and on the other by cucumbers and aubergines- is unusual in the still lifes of Van der Hamen. More typically, he produced images of sweets and the vessels used to serve and store them. These were painted for an affluent clientele that enjoyed refined still lifes filled with elegant objects and enticing foodstuffs. This work originally hung in a Spanish monastery, the property of which was sold during the confiscations of ecclesiastical property initiated by government minister Juan Álvarez Mendizábal in 1835; its paintings went to the former Museum of the Trinity (Museo de la Trinidad). The provenance of this work explains the humble subject matter, which may have served as a reminder of some of the produce from the garden of the monastery for which it was painted. We know of other images of frugal subjects painted by Van der Hamen, yet none of them are as measured and at the same time as powerful compositionally as this painting, nor are the objects depicted in them as simple or presented as monumentally. Here, the brushwork is vibrant, the colour palette is restrained and elegant and the arrangement is bathed in a golden light. Van der Hamen plays with the convex shapes of the basket, fruits and vegetables, subtly emphasising their rounded forms by the lighting and the space they occupy. The overflowing basket appears to project past the edge of the windowsill or larder and be at risk of overbalancing. It is believed that the painting was originally intended to be hung over a door, in which case the pictorial illusion of the basket´s precarious position would underline the very idea of reality versus representation.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, p.158-159, nº40

Technical data

Inventory number
Hamen y León, Juan van der
Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables
Height: 56 cm; Width: 110 cm
Trinidad Museum

Bibliography +

Cruzada Villaamil, Gregorio, Catálogo provisional, historial y razonado del Museo Nacional de Pinturas, Madrid, 1865.

Cavestany, Julio, Floreros y bodegones en la pintura española: catalogo ilustr, Sociedad Española de Amigos del Arte, 1936, pp. 73.

Torres Martin, Ramon, La naturaleza muerta en la pintura española, Seix Barral, Barcelona, 1971, pp. 81/lám. 10.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Panorama de la pintura española desde los Reyes Católicos a, Servicio de Publicaciones del Instituto de Coopera, Madrid, 1980, pp. 42.

Prinz Von Hohenzollern, J.G., Von Greco Bis Goya. Vier Jahrhunderte Spanische Malerei, Haus Der Kunst, Munich, 1982, pp. 170.

Triadó, Joan-Ramon, L'época del barroc: exposició, Departament de Cultura de la Generalitat de Catalu, Barcelona, 1983, pp. 19.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1983, pp. 53.

Jordan, W.B., Spanish still life in the Golden Age: 1600-1650, Kimbell Art Museum, 1985.

Monstruos, enanos y bufones en la Corte de los Austrias, Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1986, pp. 48.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., La nature morte espagnole du XVII sièecle a Goya, Office du Livre ; Vilo, Fribourg, 1987, pp. 40/lám. 23.

Du Greco a Goya: chefs-d'oeuvre du Prado et de collections e, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Ginebra, 1989, pp. 62.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas (II). Museo de la Trinidad, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1991, pp. nº375.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La belleza de lo real: floreros y bodegones españoles en el, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995, pp. 54.

La natura morta al tempo di Caravaggio, Electa, Napoli, 1995.

Esplendor de España 1598-1648. De Cervantes a Velazquez, Waanders Editores, Zwollw, 1998.

Luci del secolo d'oro spagnolo, Unione LatinaPinacoteca Nazionale di Bologna, Bologna, 1998.

El bodegón, Galaxia GutenbergCírculo de Lectores, Madrid, 2000, pp. lám. 26.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Greco y la pintura española del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 2001, pp. 224.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Museo de la Trinidad en el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2004, pp. 119/lám. 7.

Jordan, William B., Juan Van Der Hamen y Leon y la Corte de Madrid, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 2005, pp. 159, nº25.

De Tiziano a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado., Tokio - Osaka, 2006.

El arte del comer.De la naturaleza muerta a Ferran Adrià, Obra Social de Catalunya Caixa, 2011, pp. 58.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 158-159, nº40.

Naturalezas muertas en la España del Siglo de Oro, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, 2015, pp. 30-31 n.2.

La apariencia de lo real. Cincuenta años de arte realista en España (1960-2010), Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga,, Málaga, 2017, pp. 82-83 n.17.

Other inventories +

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1910. Núm. 1165.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1942-1996. Núm. 1165.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 2177e.

Catálogo Museo de la Trinidad, 1865. Núm. 375.
ESCUELA MADRILEÑA [...] D. JUAN VAN DER HAMEN Y LEON [...] 375. La Purísima Concepcion. / Lienzo. - Al. 0,55. - An. 1,11. / Firmado, Juan Van der Hamen, 1625. / A la derecha una calabaza amarilla; en el centro una cesta con melocotones y ciruelas; a la izquierda berengenas y pepinos.

Inv. Museo de la Trinidad, Pintura. Núm. 375.
375. / Un canasto con frutas sobre una poyata y en esta berengenas y una calabaza grande / Autor Juan vanden alto 0,55 ancho 1,11 / / Nº 89

Inscriptions +

Juan Vander hamen fat / 1625.
Inscribed in black. Front, lower central area

Inscribed in white. Front, lower right corner

T. 375
Inscribed in blue. Front, lower right corner

Exhibitions +

La apariencia de lo real
06.04.2017 - 10.09.2017

Los bodegones del Siglo de Oro español. Obras Maestras del Museo del Prado
23.04.2015 - 26.07.2015

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
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
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

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

El arte del comer
14.03.2011 - 26.06.2011

Juan van der Hamen y León y la corte de Madrid
16.03.2006 - 28.05.2006

Juan van der Hamen y León y la corte de Madrid
20.10.2005 - 22.01.2006

Museo de la Trinidad
19.07.2004 - 03.10.2004

La cultura española de Cervantes a Velazquez, 1598-1648
10.03.1999 - 30.07.1999

La cultura española de Cervantes a Velazquez, 1598-1648
21.11.1998 - 07.03.1999

El siglo de oro de la pintura española
Sao Paulo
18.05.1998 - 14.06.1998

El siglo de oro de la pintura española
15.01.1998 - 12.04.1998

La natura morta al tempo di Caravaggio
14.12.1995 - 14.04.1996

Obras maestras de la Pintura Española: del Siglo de Oro a Goya
14.06.1989 - 24.09.1989

Location +

Room 008A (On Display)


Displayed objects +


Update date: 29-04-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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