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Un Univers intime. Paintings from the Frits Lugt Collection
english | français
78
Nicolas de Largillière
(Paris 1656-1746 Paris)
Two bunches of grapes
Panel, 24.5 x 34.5 cm; signed and dated 1677
Acquired in 1949; inv. 6062

Nicolas de Largillière is today known mostly for his brilliant career as a portraitist, but he also excelled in other genres such as still life. Despite the simplicity of the motif, these bunches of grapes reflect the painter’s ambition in the early years of his career (this painting is one his first dated works). The allusion to the story, recorded by Pliny, of the artist Zeuxis, who painted such convincing grapes that birds tried to peck at them, would not have escaped the seventeenth-century viewer. Thus competing with his illustrious predecessor from Antiquity, Largillière shows his skill in trompe l’oeil work.