Still Life with Partridge and Pear
Oil on canvas
Inv. No. 2129 (Property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e. V.)
39 × 46 cm
In this still life, the French painter has arranged a partridge and a pear to form a diagonal on a tabletop or ledge. The snare hangs over the edge, playing across the pictorial boundary in the process and alluding to the means by which the bird has become an element of a “nature morte” with a slightly macabre sense of humour. The two objects have been captured with hasty, still-visible brushstrokes, and there is something downright laconic about their constellation. After several years of pinting only genre scenes, Chardin had returned to still lifes with this work, and went on to take this category of picture to new heights.