Saturday, September 27, 2008

Pieter Claesz

Pieter Claesz. Still Life with Peacock Pie, Bong, St. Elmo's Fire DVD, 1627

In a posting earlier this week Professor Peeters marveled at the meticulously painted damask in Still Life With Cheeses, Bong and DVD, 1615 by Floris Claesz van Dijck. He referenced the above painting when he wrote, "Not even the great Pieter Claesz, in his seminal Still Life with Peacock Pie, Bong, and St. Elmo's Fire DVD (1627) captured damask with such verve." It is true that the Elder Claesz was not to be outdone, though the painting by the young Pieter is not without merit. The focus of this painting is purely tactile. The ripples of shadow on the monochromatic tablecloth, the glistening skin on the cooked turkey, the silky transparency of the bong.

The earlier painting revels in its composition and acuity. Still Life with Peacock Pie, Bong and St. Elmo's Fire DVD plays host to a number of objects found in the earlier painting: fruit, nuts, a bong and a shining silver platter. The damask is present, yet again. By scattering these objects and then adding a juicy turkey carcass, a bowl of peas and a live peacock Pieter Claesz succeeds in at once recognizing the masterwork of his mentor and finding an equaled precision in objects of his own.


Jan Peeters said...

Truly revolutionary – the live bird mirrors the dead one.

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