Thursday, November 12, 2009

Samuel van Hoogstraten

Tromp-l'oeil Still-Life 1664
oil on canvas, 46 x 58cm
Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht

Still Life 1666-68
oil on canvas, 63 x 79cm
Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe


Woman at a dutch door 1645
oil on canvas, 102.5 cm x 85 cm
The Art Institute, Chicago

I came across Samuel van Hoogstraten in the Autumn issue of Tate ETC. magazine in an essay on trompe l'oeil. Recently David Neale posted interesting images of Dutch still- life paintings which reminded me of how much I like this genre. The images above I find equally interesting. Paintings of personal collections, or keepsakes, or of the things that are important in an individual life. I am drawn to the coral necklace that the woman wears the same way I am drawn to the objects suspended in the paintings. Everything's  inclusion/selection/collection is carefully considered.

Baudrillard writes in The System of Collecting that:

Among the various meanings of the French word objet, the Littre dictionary gives this: 'Anything which is the cause or subject  of a passion. Figuratively and most typically: the loved object.'

He goes on to say that through objects the individual finds a kind of consolation:

In our era of faltering religious and ideological authorities, they are by way of becoming the consolation of consolations, an everyday myth capable of absorbing all our anxieties about time and death.

Jewellery and objects are collected and worn and exchanged. They have cultural and monetary significance. I write all this as I am trying to understand a number of things and the paintings of van Hoogstraten seem to have triggered this for me. Even though I love jewellery and objects, I love the making of both more, and hopefully what is made extends this dialogue of objects further.

images from here