HAMEN, Juan van der
(b. 1596, Madrid, d. 1631, Madrid)

Still Life with Flowers, Artichokes, Cherries and Glassware

Oil on canvas, 81,5 x 110,5 cm
Private collection

The main subject, a large glass vase of flowers, is accompanied by a smaller glass vase with pink roses on the uppermost surface. The larger vase of flowers presides over two artichoke heads and their leaves, the contrast between these two faces of Nature being intentional; the beauty of the flowers is enhanced by the presence of the more commonplace green vegetable below them, and the senses of sight and smell are pitted against the sense of taste. Van der Hamen has given the same painterly attention to all of the motifs, however, drawing and modelling the leaves of the artichokes with as much attention to detail as the blooms themselves. The flowers are painted with the artist's customary finesse; each bloom is carefully painted and the rose petals are modelled using thin glazes of red lake over white.

One of the features of Van der Hamen's still-life painting for which he was best known lay in the depiction of expensive luxury glassware, such as the pieces represented here.

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