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Still Life with Cherries, Strawberries and Gooseberries, 1630

Louise Moillon
French, 1610-1696
Oil on panel
12-5/8 x 19-1/8 in. (32.1 x 48.6 cm)
The Norton Simon Foundation
© The Norton Simon Foundation

On view

Louise Moillon was one of the finest still-life painters in France in the first half of the 17th century. This spectacular painting, one of the few examples by Moillon in an American collection, was painted when the artist was 20 years of age. Her specialty was the meticulous rendering of fruits, and this still life epitomizes her success, displaying a restrained elegance and an idealized, classical perfection in all its components. Gooseberries, strawberries, cherries and a sprig of currants are represented as flawless specimens. The pristine blue-and-white porcelain bowls, the droplets of water and the small basket reflect her conservative but intense and highly ordered vision of the world. Whether the still-life paintings by Moillon and her French contemporaries, including Jacques Linard, lacked or eschewed the sophistication and panache of their Dutch counterparts, it is apparent that these painters embraced an entirely different aesthetic—one that was quieter, more contemplative and still satisfying in its own right.

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