Copper tank - Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin. 28.5 x 23.5 cm
To understand the attitude of Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin to the genre called "still life", just look at his picture "Copper tank", which was painted in 1734. A large, solid tank for water can be called the most important subject in the kitchen, and it became the plot center of the artist.
A massive tank stands on a small stool. Below are the remaining simple items of kitchen utensils - a pan, a black jug with a lid, an old bucket. This simple set of everyday things of poor people is perceived not only as a kind of documentary chronicle, but also as a way of life of the social stratum to which Charden originally belonged. He saw this daily and managed to discern a peculiar beauty and poetry.
How accurately Chardin uses color to convey the texture of objects! The tank faucet is polished to a shine with frequent hand touches, while the rest of its surface has a reddish-brownish color imitating copper. The bucket has acquired an obscure greenish color from time to time and long use. Soft, dark color differs the color of the jug. All the nuances are noticed very accurately and filigree conveyed by color and line. How precisely it is necessary to place objects so that each of them, unprepossessing separately, plays with a polyphony of colors!
The composition of Chardin always meets the requirements of harmony and conciseness. Perfect balance. A sort of hidden nobility and exaltation with discouraging simplicity of content.
The high audience admired the picture with admiration, without looking at the prosaic content. Probably, several factors played - the highest skill of Chardin and the ability to bring soulfulness and absolute harmony into his canvases. Many artists of subsequent generations were very fond of Chardin, in particular Cezanne. The style of both artists will be very similar, despite the century separating them.