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Caravaggio-Backet of Fruit

Sep - 20 - 2013
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Backet of Fruit

Backet of Fruit
Oil on canvas, 31 x 47 cm
Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan

A woven fruit-basket, placed on a simple brown line rather than a badly painted table-top, rises towards the viewer. As well as grapes and figs, we can see a lemon, a pear, an apple and a peach. Against the yellow background, which is reminiscent of a distempered wall, the arrangement stands out principally because the leaves have been artfully spread out into the empty space. This makes me doubt the view that the yellow paint is covering a deeper background, modeled out of light and shadow. What looks at first sight like an accidental ensemble, arranged merely to create a trompe l’oeil effect, actually follows a careful geometric pattern. In accordance with the golden section, the basket has been moved to the left. The leaf projecting on the left follows the same geometric pattern. Even if the worm-eaten apple reminds us of Eve in Paradise, and a shriveled-up leaf on the right evokes the transience of all earthly things, the work’s almost abstract character is still most impressive.

Bibliography: Eberard König- “Caravaggio”


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