Title: Still Life with Plums

Date: 1666

Artist: Pierre Dupuis

Accession Number: L.2002.58

I took a picture of this oil painting at the Met museum during my scavenger hunt. It is an image of a bowl of plums. This is considered to be a still life painting because the subject in the work is an inanimate subject matter. The painting include natural and man-made objects. The plums are an example of a natural subject matter in the painting because they are grown from a plum pit. The bowl the plums are in and the table the bowl is on are both man-made subjects because they can not be found in nature. This painting is from French culture, and was created during the late 1600s. What stood out to me in this piece was the dark background because it puts the viewers’ attention on the plums. This is known as chiaroscuro because viewers can see the sharp contrast between dark and light in the painting. Another thing that stood out to me was the fact these were plums because I thought they were grapes because the fruit was still attached to the branches.  This piece relates to our class because in Unit 5, we learned about the unpopular art style of still life. In class, we learned about Cèzanne’s “The Basket of Apples” oil painting. This is an painting of a table that is set with multiple fruits and a wine bottle. You can see the relation between both works of art because they can be classified as still life paintings since the subject of both works of art are inanimate. This style of art was not popular with people because there were more popular styles of art that resonated with the people, such as historical and religious works of art, and there were cameras that were around at the time. That is why artists of this era, like Cèzanne, wanted to show the power of the human eye. They believed that the camera was no match for the human perspective because despite their high quality photos, it can never be the same as the human eye. Therefore, that is why artists painted everyday inanimate things onto a canvas, which is seen in both the “Still Life with Plums” and  “The Basket of Apples”.

  • Rebecca Lee, Team Jupiter


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