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

Still-Life with Pipe an Jug

c. 1737
Oil on canvas, 32,5 x 40 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Strongly and consciously evocative of people are the still-lifes of Chardin like the Pipe and Jug. Here it is the very essence of the objects that matters. For all Diderot's praise, Chardin is not obsessed with surface appearances but with what lies beneath. Yet the objects themselves are deliberately homely; they are possible possessions for anyone and, like Chardin's people, they suggest use. At their richest they are comparatively poor; the utensils are more often those of kitchen than dining-room; and they form in fact a logical extension of the lives that Chardin's genre pictures depict.