- Inventory number
- Zurbarán, Francisco de
- Still Life with Vessels
- Ca. 1650
- 46 cm x 84 cm
- Still Life
- On display
- Donation by Francisco de Asís Cambó, 1940
Four vessels of different shapes, one metal and the other three of earthenware, appear in a line on a shelf over a neutral background. The vessels at each end sit on metal trays.
This extraordinarily straightforward composition makes light the absolute protagonist, as that is what individualizes each object. The fact that the vessels don't cast their shadows onto each other indicates that the painter depicted them one by one, in order of appearance, approaching this work in stages focused on each recipient, rather than painting it all at once.
Zurbarán painted very few still lifes and here he explores pure painterly technique, its textures and esthetic pleasures, without giving the work a secondary, time-related meaning. This is different than other still lifes, which tended to include dead flowers, clocks, skulls or foodstuffs alluding to the passage of time.
A nearly identical version, which also belonged to the collection of Francisco de Asís Cambó, is at the Museum of Art of Catalonia.