Francisco de Zurbarán “Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose” (1633)


I admit I’m jagged but this masterpiece by the Spanish baroque master, Francisco de Zurbarán, stopped me in my boots. While I think Zurbarán’s figures are rather lame and manneristic, his still life paintings (this one in particularly, and the only one that is signed if I remember correctly from my college years) are orgasmic.

The colors are subdued and harmonious, the composition is geometrically perfect. Even the frame accentuates the composition. If I was reincarnated as a painting in my next life this would be it.

Only the basket veers towards the stylized, otherwise it is a breathe of pristine realism in an era not known for its clear observation of nature. Only Caravaggio can blow Zurbarán away for his clarity and freshness of naturalistic vision.

3 responses to “Francisco de Zurbarán “Still Life with Lemons, Oranges and a Rose” (1633)”

  1. Surely Morandi must have meditated on Zurburan as he came to his still life set-up. Here the objects in three parts are totally direct – in-your-face — eschewing graceful variety of movement and the rest of the still life bag of tricks… It is is if Z. had passed any need to make an ensemble that seemed to found – accidentally – by the artist lying about on the table.” No -I’m exhausted with artifice! I,Zurburan, put them there !- on purpose !- just like this!-1-2-3! – take it or leave it!”

  2. Well it was a good painting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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