Meléndez frequently combined elements from other paintings to create new still lifes, a practice that allowed him to save on time and the expense of new studio props. Configurations of pears as well as particular kitchen wares, like the wine cooler, olive cask, and glazed bowl reappear throughout his body of work. The large cantaloupe that dominates the lower right of this composition was not painted from life, but probably copied from a painting currently in Valladolid (Spain) that was likely part of a commission from the Prince of Asturias (later Charles IV). By quoting a motif from a painting in the royal collection, he could entice potential collectors with the image's social cachet.


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