Still life with a clock - Antonio Pereda. 78 x 91 cm
Antonio de Pereda y Salgado is a bright representative from a whole galaxy of Spanish artists, the so-called "golden" Baroque era. And he worthily continues the still life genre begun by the great Diego Velazquez. But the still life is not quite ordinary, but allegorical, in which each object has its own meaning.
In 1652, during the heyday of the work of Antonio de Pereda, he painted an interesting picture - "Still Life with a Clock." All details have been written down to the smallest detail, an iridescent fabric is beautifully depicted, against the background of which elements of a still life are placed.
Pitchers, vessels and decanters are real, as if from a photograph - their finish, shadows, curls, a glass teapot that almost merges with drapery, reflected light - everything is reliably and faithfully transmitted by the author. In the center of the composition are magnificent watches, with their weight “crushing” the fauna bent under their weight. Seashells and walnuts are scattered around the table.
But we draw attention to the fact that all these objects are arranged and laid out intentionally artificially, so that the viewer thinks and unravels the morality that the artist wanted to convey. Probably, it was easier for people of the 17th century to solve the riddle posed by the painter. But we will try and get to the essence of the plan.
So, empty shells mean the body shell, which remains after the soul leaves the human body. In the Middle Ages, walnuts were associated with virtue, with life, and chopped walnuts with death. Glass vessels - with the subtlety and fragility of human life. The clock speaks of the transience of our being.
All these “characters” of the canvas by Antonio Pereda clearly, despite the apparent simplicity, demonstrate to us the deep meaning and value of our existence in this mortal world. Wealth, vanity, pleasures - all this is fleeting, passing and perishable, but one must think about the soul and its spiritual development.