Sunday, May 5, 2024

Caution: Lemons Ahead --- Day 13/123

Lope: Hood

Distance: 5.5 miles

Pieter Claesz, Still Life with Lemons and Olives, 1629, oil on canvas

Readers, take heart.  Ciwt is nearly done with her will update project so the CIWT palette should be brightening very soon.

But, while she's on the will theme,  a note on another dark work of art.  Probably you know that the Golden Age Dutch still lifes are filled with symbols.  And that virtually all of them are a version of memento mori, Latin for 'remember you will die.'  So glasses can be tipped over, everything on the table can be near the edge and therefore precarious, about to fall. There's usually at least one piece of fruit that is sliced, peeled and beginning to rot.  

And in this painting, that fruit is clearly the lemon. Lemons were very expensive in that era, so they are a sign of wealth.  On the other hand, they are also bitter and one of them has been sliced and peeled.  So what we have is a moral warning for the viewer: You may enjoy your costly objects but remember earthly beauty is deceptive and fleeting.

As Ciwt said, brightness is on the way around CIWT.....

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