This painting forms a pair with the Still Life with Pipe and Matches, shown nearby. Along with several other paintings, they decorated the dining room of the artist's home, each painting representing a different stage of a meal. In this composition the artist focused his attention on rendering textures, which are as varied as the objects themselves: the skin of the smoked herrings, whose highlights echo the silver of the goblet and the cover of the pitcher; the spongy surface of the bread; the velvety crust of the cheese; and finally the soft wood surface (pine?) that supports this still life.

The Latin inscription translates: "How virtuous and how great to live with simple things."

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  • Title: Still Life with Herring, Bread, and Cheese
  • Creator: Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (French, 1803-1860)
  • Date Created: 1858
  • Physical Dimensions: Unframed: 63 x 38 cm (24 13/16 x 14 15/16 in.)
  • Provenance: Decamps sale, Paris, Drouot, 23-24 January 1865 (lots 26, 27), bought by M. Desprez for ff 300, ff 225. His collection sale, Versailles, 17 December 1972 (lot 218), to Georges Martin du Nord at Galerie B. G. Verte, Paris. Sold to Galerie Brame-Lorenceau, Paris. Bought by Mr. and Mrs. Noah L. Butkin, Cleveland. Bequeathed to the CMA in 1980.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1980.254.2
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: Signed lower left: dc Rev 1858; inscribed: quoe [sic] virtus et quanta sit / vivere parvo [How virtuous, and how great to live with simple things]
  • Department: Modern European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, 19th century
  • Credit Line: Bequest of Noah L. Butkin
  • Collection: Mod Euro - Painting 1800-1960
  • Accession Number: 1980.254.2

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