The subject couldn’t be much humbler: a wicker basket heaped with plums and placed on a stone ledge amid a scattering of walnuts, cherries, and currants. In an era when French painting was known for its grandeur and decorative embellishments, Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin’s still lifes and genre scenes were renowned for their simplicity and directness. Though considered too modest to be ranked alongside the extravagant works of François Boucher, Chardin’s paintings charmed many of his contemporaries. The great Paris intellectual Denis Diderot praised Chardin for his truthfulness and unassuming poetry—the very qualities that captivate us today.



  • Title: Basket of Plums
  • Creator: Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin
  • Date Created: 1765
  • Location: France
  • Physical Dimensions: 12 3/4 x 16 1/2 in. (32.4 x 41.9 cm)
  • Credit Line: Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.
  • Provenance: Emil Leroux, Paris; Georges Hoardt, New York, 1939; Newhouse Galleries, New York, 1939; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr.; Gift of Walter P. Chrysler, Jr. to the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, 1971.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more


Google apps