(b. 1566, Olomouc, d. 1638, Frankfurt am Main)

Still-Life with Cherries

Oil on panel, 18 x 25 cm
Staatsgalerie, Stuttgart

Flegel painted this still-life with the virtuoso precision of a goldsmith or copperplate engraver. If the elements of the composition are first and foremost objects of painterly interest, they also symbolize victory over the earthly life through faith. The bread and wine can be interpreted as Eucharistic symbols of the Body and Blood of Christ, red currants are a familiar symbol of the Passion, and cherries were considered heavenly fruits of Paradise. The painting also contains a reference to time: the cheese may symbolize longevity, the dragonfly - soon to dart away - the present moment. As the heralds of sunshine and summer heat, the dragonfly may be read in the positive sense as a reference to divine creation, or in the negative sense as a symbol of decay and vanitas.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.