Chardin reflected intensely on the act of observation. Still life became a forum for sophisticated performances in paint, and his complex technique—he famously worked in private—uses a staggering combination of delicate glazes and roughly dragged thick paint to capture the varied surfaces, atmospheres, and spaces in this humble pantry shelf. Acutely aware of recent developments in optics and physics, Chardin explored ideas about light, shadow, and color, and fully expected his work to be inspected closely.

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  • Title: Still Life with Herrings
  • Creator: Jean-Siméon Chardin (French, 1699-1779)
  • Date Created: c. 1735
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 58.5 x 50.5 x 8.5 cm (23 1/16 x 19 7/8 x 3 3/8 in.); Unframed: 41 x 33.6 cm (16 1/8 x 13 1/4 in.)
  • Provenance: Dr. Benoist, (Benoist sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 30, 1857, no. 12, probably sold to Monsieur R.), Monsieur R., Paris, (Monsieur R. collection sale, Rouillard, Paris, April 28, 1860, no. 12, possibly sold to Henri, Henri Viollet [1849-1926?], Tours, France, Alfred [1811-1893] and Paul [1833-1903] Mame, Tours, France, (Mame sale, Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, France, April 26-29, 1904, no. 7, sold to Alexis Vollon), Alexis Vollon [1865-1945], Paris, France, David David-Weill [1871-1952], Paris, France, (Rosenberg and Stiebel, New York, NY, sold to Sidney J. Lamon), Sidney J. Lamon [d. 1973], New York, NY, (Sale, Christie’s, London, June 29, 1973, no. 21, sold to Frederick Mont/Newhouse Galleries) 1, (Frederick Mont and Newhouse Galleries, New York, NY, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1974.1
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: Signed lower right: "chardin"
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund
  • Collection: P - French 18th Century
  • Accession Number: 1974.1

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