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|Author: Abraham Mignon|
|Still Life, Painting, Oil on canvas, 87x68 cm|
|Origin: Germany, Second half of the 17th century|
Mignon studied under the leading Dutch still life master Jan Davidsz. de Heem, and he took as his central theme Vanitas, or the vanity of vanities. The large bouquet being overturned by the tame squirrel is a symbol of the transitory nature of existence. By tradition the squirrel, nibbling at a nut, symbolised consistent labour, but sometimes - as here- the squirrel could also be a symbol of frivolity. Amongst the buds, the blooms and the faded petals - the short-lived charms of this bouquet bringing home to us the brevity of life - we see a poppy, symbol of dreams and death, and an ear of wheat, symbol of hope for eternal life. Painted with the care and desire to create bright decorative effects which were typical of Mignon, the picture surface is filled with flowers as if with some bright, swirling pattern.
|Source of entry: Provenance: before 1797|
|Exibition: German Art: 15th - 18th centuries|
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