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Still Life

Paul Liégeois

| 818.1.11

Date : 17th century | Medium : Oil on canvas

Paul Liégeois was a still life painter active in the mid-17th century during a transitional period in painting, when the restrained pictures of Louise Moillon and Jacques Linard gradually made way for a more decorative style, leading to the large paintings of flowers and fruit by Jean-Baptiste Monnoyer and François Blin de Fontenay at Versailles.

Here the painter introduces a rich fabric with finely-embroidered edges on an entablature that remains sober. But the foliage and its stems describe more complicated arabesques, and the peaches, grapes and plums begin to mingle with each other instead of being decorously juxtaposed.

The period of Anne of Austria's regency in the 1640s and 1650s in France features many examples of transitions in French painting, but little has come down to us in terms of still lifes. After Jacques Thuillier we can cite names that are now practically forgotten, like Jean-Michel Picart for flower painting and Pierre Dupuis for fruit – and yet their pictures evince all the charm of this moment of equilibrium in painting during the Regency (see for example Picart's Vases of Flowers in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, and the Basket of Grapes by Dupuis in the Musée du Louvre).