KALF, Willem
(b. 1619, Rotterdam, d. 1693, Amsterdam)

Still-Life with Lemon, Oranges and Glass of Wine

Oil on canvas, 36,5 x 30,8 cm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe

The middle axis of this painting is formed by a roemer wine glass with an elaborate handle. Placed in front of a dark niche, it is partly lit by the small amount of light that shines on it. The light is also refracted by the transparent glass and the wine itself. On the marble table there are three bergamot or Seville oranges and a lemon. Jutting out over the table's edge, a knife with a polished agate handle protrudes through the bright yellow lemon peel, and the porous strip of skin, peeled off in one piece, curls around like a festoon, forming a decorative counterpart to the narrow pointed orange leaves. Showing sweet and sour citrus fruits together in this way, the artist symbolically admonishes the viewer to be temperate and to add lemon and orange juice to wine, as they were considered to have medicinal, humoral and pathological properties.

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