Clams & Basket
A 19th Century French School oil painting on canvas, mounted on a wooden panel, with a slightly textured surface to the touch.
This unique still life of dark grey clams, the "peigne gris", native to La Manche on the Normandy coast. The painting showcases a minimalist approach with rare textural volumes and precise, subtle brushstrokes. Distinct from the opulence of the 17th-century Dutch school or Manet's measured shellfish compositions, this piece exudes spontaneity. The overturned basket creates a small, dark mass of shells, upon which the light plays. The bright illumination for a still life of this era allows the mother-of-pearl to captivate without resorting to dramatic reflections or unnecessary transparencies. The composition and lighting set this still life apart, while its carved wooden frame adds a traditional touch.
During the mid-1800s, shellfish became a popular subject in French still life paintings, reflecting the growing interest in naturalism and the intimate aspects of daily life. These works often depicted oysters, clams, and other shellfish, showcasing their delicate textures and iridescent hues. The French artists of this period were particularly skillful at capturing the subtle interplay of light and shadow on the shells, imbuing their paintings with a sense of depth and realism. Shellfish-themed still lifes became synonymous with refined taste and an appreciation for the simple pleasures of life. These works resonated with collectors and art enthusiasts alike, and they remain sought-after pieces that evoke the charm and sophistication of 19th-century French art.
- Overall Size: 17.7" x 22.8" / 45.5cm x 58.5cm.
- Size without frame: 12.5" x 17.7" / 32cm x 45cm.
- Country of Origin: France.
- Signature: Anonymous.
- Creation Date: Mid-19th century.
- Condition: The panel is in good condition. The antique frame has some gaps and restored molding pieces.
- Materials: Oil on canvas mounted on a wooden panel, housed within a wood frame.
- Shipping: Complimentary shipping to the US and Europe. A surcharge will be applied for deliveries to Australia, New Zealand, and Asia.