Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin began his career as a painter of still lifes, and Still Life with Leg of Lamb is one of his earliest paintings of humble kitchen objects. Although he also specialized in scenes from everyday life, Chardin continued to paint still lifes to the end of his career. Here, Chardin imparts a sense of dignity—which his contemporaries typically reserved for seemingly more-worthy subjects—to everyday kitchen items. The harmonious relationship between a few simple objects or figures brings a sense of tranquility to all of Chardin's work. To the students who came to him for advice, Chardin responded: "Sirs, sirs, gentleness!"


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Artist
Jean-Siméon Chardin, French, 1699–1779
Title
Still Life with a Leg of Lamb
Date
1730
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Image: 15 3/4 × 12 13/16 in. (40 × 32.5 cm) Frame: 22 7/8 × 20 1/8 × 3 1/2 in. (58.1 × 51.1 × 8.9 cm)
Credit Line

Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, Houston

Current Location
The Audrey Jones Beck Building
217 BLAFFER GALLERIES
Accession Number
BF.1992.4
Classification
Painting
Provenance

[Paris, Sculptor Edmé Bouchardon sale, September 13, 1808, lot 33]; English collection, by 1832, per an old inscription on the back of the painting; collection of the Canon Milford, Oxford, England, until around 1963; Cailleux collection, Paris; private collection, France (possibly Dr. J. Weyl-Aubret, Brest); [Aguttes Hôtel des Ventes, Clermont-Ferrand, May 1, 1987, lot 387]; [Masters Investment Limited]; purchased by the Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation, 1992.