CHARDIN, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon
(b. 1699, Paris, d. 1779, Paris)

The Silver Tureen

c. 1728
Oil on canvas, 76,2 x 108 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Chardin was a contemporary of Boucher, but no two artists could have been more different. Chardin invariably imbued his deceptively simple compositions with a disregard for mere prettiness. In this still-life Chardin has given ordinary objects of everyday life an aura of dignity and value. The cat creates a sense of conflict between the living and dead animals, underscoring a theme common in Chardin's genre scenes: the evanescence of life.