Still Life with Fruits, Foliage and Insects
On View In:
Gallery 311
Artist:   Abraham Mignon  
Title:   Still Life with Fruits, Foliage and Insects  
Date:   c. 1669  
Medium:   Oil on canvas  
Dimensions:   23 x 19 1/2 in. (58.42 x 49.53 cm) (canvas)  
Credit Line:   Gift of Bruce B. Dayton  
Location:   Gallery 311  

Still lifes often carried symbolic meanings for their original Dutch viewers. Here, the crowded display of fruit and insects testifies to the bounty of nature. The artist's virtuoso technique also reveals his desire to vie with the natural world and briefly halt time's passage by fixing these objects in paint. The sheer variety of natural organisms still fascinates. But the fruit has begun to rot, and the once-mighty oak tree shows signs of blight. The stone in the foreground has fallen from a once-perfect building, and the arch in the right background crumbles. Butterflies and caterpillars, traditional symbols of transience, also allude to the impermanence of earthly things.

Name:   Mignon, Abraham  
Nationality:   Dutch  
Life Dates:   Dutch, 1640 - 1679  

Object Description  
Inscriptions:   Signature LL (on brick): [A. Mignon f] Lined with old French newspaper on verso.  
Classification:   Paintings  
Physical Description:   Dutch still life with fruit, foliage, and insects.  
Creation Place:   Europe, Netherlands, , ,  
Accession #:   87.4  
Owner:   The Minneapolis Institute of Arts