Joseph Plepp

Still Life with Cherries and Cheese

Still Life with Cherries and Cheese
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Joseph Plepp
Still Life, Painting, Oil on panel, 36.3x52.3 cm
Origin: Germany, 1632

Plepp was a Swiss artist who was active during the early period of the development of the European still life. In this painting each object has its own special significance. For instance, carnations were seen as a symbol of Christ's death, while bread and the glass of wine and the knife cannot be considered without taking into account the symbolism of the Christian mystery of the Eucharist. When we realise that the rest of the food is suitable to the period of Lent, and that cheese is not only part of the lenten menu but can also be seen as a symbol of the Eucharist, then the range of themes and images to which the artist is leading us become clear. Moral teachings, extremely characteristic of the era, can be read in the painting - a call to observe moderation in all, to be satisfied with a sufficiency, without excess, to recall the sacrifice made by Christ and to hope for eternal life in the heavens. At the centre of the composition is a stunning plate of bright red cherries, perhaps the heavenly fruit of paradise, or yet the sweetness which seduces one away from doing good deeds? The black background and bright colours are typical of this artist's work.

Source of entry: Provenance: 1955
Exibition: German Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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