Luis Melendez, Fruit in a Landscape, 1771; oil on canvas, 25 x 33 in.
In thinking of New Year's wishes to you, dear readers, what could be better to illustrate them than with the richness of Spanish still life painting? From a watermelon bursting with juicy sweetness, pink and crisp....
Juan Fernandez, el Labrador, Vase of Flowers, 1636; oil on panel, 16 1/8 in. diameter
...to a full round vase of spring flowers, petals trembling with life and promise...
Francisco de Burgos Mantilla, Still Life with Dried Fruit, 1631; oil on canvas, 11 7/16 x 23 3/16 in.
...to paper cornucopias of dried fruits and nuts, small pleasures that will keep through the year; all these sensuous things, of taste and sight and smell, can be symbolic of a year to come full of joy and of beauty.
Juan Sanchez Cotan, Quince, Cabbage, Melon, and Cucumber, ca. 1603; oil on canvas, 27 1/4 x 33 1/2 in.
And in this more restrained and elegant arrangement, I think of calm and peace, and wish you both.
Francisco de Zurbaran, Still Life with Lemons, Oranges, and a Rose, 1633; oil on canvas, 24 1/2 x 43 1/8 in. (see this in high resolution on the Norton Simon museum website.)
This remarkable Zurbaran is an image of fruitfulness, with grace and balance; the bitter citrus with the sweet orange blossoms and with the rose, (and I know how many of you love your coffee!) Light washes over all, as forms emerge from darkness. May you all be similarly illumined. Happy New Year!