The famous baroque painter Antonio de Pereda i Salgado was born in 1611 in the Spanish town of Valladolid, in a creative and noble hidalgo family, where both his brothers, father and mother were artists. Painting historians know little about the period of childhood and youth, about how the formation of the future master took place. Most likely, their first mastery lessons were received from parents.
At 11, the boy was left an orphan, and he was transported to his father's close friends in Madrid. The young man’s abilities turned out to be outstanding and he was assigned to the workshop of the artist P. Cuevas.
In the royal palace of the capital, due to the fact that the collector of painting and a member of the royal council are interested in the works of Antonio, the young artist copies the paintings of famous masters such as Ribera and Velazquez.
Especially the work of Diego Velazquez left an imprint on the subsequent formation of Antonio - he, like his illustrious fellow countryman, preferred the image of still lifes. Antonio is only 24 years old, but he is very successful in painting on historical topics, for example, “The Taking of Genoa”, as well as religious content - “The Annunciation” and others.
He has many orders, not only from private individuals, but also from churches, temples, and from various religious orders. His works are distinguished by very careful writing out of the smallest details, he attaches great importance to light, the pictures are obtained with a pleasant "Venetian" color.
The plots of the paintings and the construction of the composition very precisely correspond to all the norms of religious art, adopted in the 17th century. Each element, accessory, object on the canvas is accurately and reliably transmitted by the author, contains his own thought and symbol. Nevertheless, the artist prefers still lifes.
But the still lifes in the image of Pereda are special - they necessarily carry within themselves edification, reasoning about the meaning of life, allegories are actively used. Famous paintings in this genre are “Allegory (Life is a dream)”, “Allegory of transience” and others.
Allegorically, depicting skulls, watches, jewelry, the artist emphasizes the idea that everything passes quickly in this world, you need to think about the soul and spirituality. The heyday of the work of Antonio de Pereda i Salgado falls on the period from 1650 to 1670.
“Still Life with a Clock”, “Still Life with a Skull”, “Still Life with an Ebony Chest” and many other beautiful paintings by the Spanish painter leave a mark in the memory of everyone who saw these works and stopped to philosophize on the subject of being, imbued with the spirit of that distant, not simple, very religious and harsh time.
Moreover, the talent of the artist is amazing, who was able to convey to us beautiful examples of Spanish art of the “golden age of baroque” with his lively, calm, warm colors.