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Still Life with Chocolate Service
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Chocolate Service
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

When describing the work of this prolific painter of still lifes, it is frequently said that Luis Meléndez included only commonplace objects in his canvases; this painting, in fact, offers the exception that proves the rule. Amid the various objects represented here are a porcelain cup and large saucer, or plate, which seem to be East Asian rather than Spanish. Indeed, they may be Cantonese

Still Life with Small Pears, Bread, Flask, Bowl and Dry Leaves
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Small Pears, Bread, Flask, Bowl and Dry Leaves
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Sobre una tosca mesa de madera, descrita táctilmente con los pequeños detalles de la calidad del material, visibles en nudos y muescas, aparecen desordenadamente situadas unas cuantas “peritas de San Juan” y un pan en segundo término, junto al cual se eleva una alcarraza de loza muy blanca que bien pudiera ser andaluza. Se denomina popularmente “jarra de cuatro picos” y muestra una decoración de i

Still Life with Oranges, Melon and Boxes of Sweets
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Oranges, Melon and Boxes of Sweets
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Still Life with Oysters, Garlic, Eggs, Pot and Pan
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Oysters, Garlic, Eggs, Pot and Pan
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

This highly original still life presents various oysters in the fore and middle grounds—a relatively infrequent element in Meléndez’s paintings. The foreground is completed by some cloves of garlic and a decorated ceramic plate, probably from Talavera. Behind them, the powerful volume of an enormous copper pot vies for the leading role in this composition. It is tilted, as one edge rests on

Still Life with Box of Jelly, Bread, Salver with Glass and Cooler
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Box of Jelly, Bread, Salver with Glass and Cooler
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Meléndez’s works are characterized by his interest in familiar, everyday realities, which he places in the immediate foreground as if seeking direct contact with the viewer. And yet, in the context of this desire to create a repertoire of common foodstuffs and utensils, we occasionally find a more distinguished and decorative object, less popular than its everyday kitchen surroundings. Here

Still Life with Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1774
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1774
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

El autor ha procurado conjugar los componentes más característicos de una sencilla ensalada, aprovechando al tiempo el asunto para mostrar junto a los pepinos y tomates -contrastados merced a su diversidad de tonalidades-,un lebrillo de Alcorcón tapado con un plato que sin duda pertenece al grupo que figura en torre a su lado, todos de Puente del Arzobispo; se añaden una vinagrera, una alcuza y un

Still Life with Plate of Pears and Morello Cherries
Oil on canvas. 1773
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Plate of Pears and Morello Cherries
Oil on canvas. 1773
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Still Life with Partridges, Onions, Garlic and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Last third of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Partridges, Onions, Garlic and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Last third of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Hunting subjects are rare in Meléndez's work. Here, two multicolored partridges are the composition's main theme. Alongside them, in the foreground, are two cloves of garlic, some paper packages and the onions. In the middle ground, two Alcorcón-style earthenware bowls hold three crockery plates with poppy decorations, probably from Talavera or Puente del Arzobispo. The painter's customary method

Still Life with Watermelon, Pastries, Bread and Wine
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Watermelon, Pastries, Bread and Wine
Oil on canvas. 1770
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Luis Meléndez distinguished himself as the greatest bodegón, or still-life, painter in late eighteenth-century Spain. By this time, the popularity of the genre had declined in Spain and was not practiced by any of Meléndez’ contemporaries at court. Even so, Meléndez painted over one hundred bodegones in his lifetime, leading art historians to infer that he took a person

Still Life with Apples, Nuts, Boxes of Sweets and Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1759
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Apples, Nuts, Boxes of Sweets and Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1759
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Still Life with Limes, Box of Jelly, Butterfly and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Limes, Box of Jelly, Butterfly and Vessels
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Some limes, laid out with the artist's habitual disorder, occupy almost half the canvas. Behind them, a honey pot of the popular green-glazed type from Biar or Lucena shows the painter's eye for detail. In the background, a box of jelly lies open on a castañuela plate. Behind it, a silver or pewter saucer holds a Tonalá type Mexican ceramic cup. The butterfly hovering over it all is interesting fo

Still Life with a Plate of Cherries, Plums a Pitcher and Cheese
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with a Plate of Cherries, Plums a Pitcher and Cheese
Oil on canvas. Ca. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

The first thing to catch the viewer’s eye is a splendid earthenware pitcher with a typical 18th-century tin-oxide white glaze and a Solomonic braided handle. The bright reflections of light on its curved surface contrast with the play of straight and curved lines that define the cheese resting beside it, and with the wavy-edged rococo plate in the immediate foreground, which overflows with cherrie

Still Life with Melon, Figs, Apples, Wineskin, and Picnic Hamper in a Landscape
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Melon, Figs, Apples, Wineskin, and Picnic Hamper in a Landscape
Oil on canvas. Third quarter of the XVIII century
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Still Life with Breams, Oranges, Garlic, Seasoning and Kitchen Utensils
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Breams, Oranges, Garlic, Seasoning and Kitchen Utensils
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Two splendid sea breams play the leading role here. They are surrounded by lesser motifs, including oranges, a kitchen towel, a head of garlic, and packet of what is probably spice, two terracotta bowls from Alcorcón, a long-handled pan, a mortar whose pestle leans into the background, and a cruet that participates in this work’s careful study of light as a means of defining volumes, divers

Still Life with Sausages, Ham and Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Sausages, Ham and Vessels
Oil on canvas. 1772
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Still Life with Limes, Oranges, Haw Berries and Watermelon
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Limes, Oranges, Haw Berries and Watermelon
Oil on canvas. 1760
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Still Life with Pomegranates, Apples, Haw Berries and Grapes in a Landscape
Oil on canvas. 1771
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Pomegranates, Apples, Haw Berries and Grapes in a Landscape
Oil on canvas. 1771
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

Meléndez has managed to integrate different fruits in a disordered thematic association that combines open pomegranates -showing the richness of their transparent seeds- with grapes, elongated apples and haws. The composition is structured in an original manner: the base is the smooth surface of a stone with irregular edges. The setting is a landscape with trees in semi-darkness silhouetted

Still Life with Plate of Apricots and Morello Cherries
Oil on canvas. 1773
Meléndez, Luis Egidio
Still Life with Plate of Apricots and Morello Cherries
Oil on canvas. 1773
Meléndez, Luis Egidio

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