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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

A Cup of Water and a Rose (1630)

I have become a big fan of the still life this past few months, thanks to the education in art that I am slowly absorbing from a friend who is helping on my way.  The thing about having children in college is that I have discovered that there are many things that I did not learn when I was younger, and that it is not too late to learn them now.  Or a little bit about them at least.  When I was taking classes as a student they seemed to go on forever, but now that I am older I realize that they just scratch the surface and that to learn, you have to keep at it on your own.

This is in honor of the Valentine's Day holiday we just passed and the association with flowers.  It was painted by Francisco de Zuburan, who was a Spanish painter that rose to prominence during the reign of the Murillo family in Seville. Influenced by Caravaggio, Zurbaran’s paintings are distinct and known for their tenebrism (which is a fancy word for having stark contrasts between light and dark in the painting).  The part of it that I choose not to dwell on is that the painter was very religious, and while it appears to be a simple still life, there is symbolism in it related to the Virgin Mary's purity.  I just see it as pure and simple and peaceful.

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