Basket of Peaches, with Quinces, and Plums

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Basket of Peaches, with Quinces, and Plums

after 1641
Paintings
Oil on canvas
Canvas: 26 x 33 1/4 in. (66.04 x 84.46 cm); Framed: 32 3/4 x 39 5/8 x 2 1/2 in. (83.19 x 100.65 x 6.35 cm)
Gift of The Ahmanson Foundation (M.2010.53)
Currently on public view:
Ahmanson Building, floor 3 MAP IT
Ahmanson Building, floor 3

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Curator Notes

Last year, LACMA acquired a large painting by Isaac Moillon, an artist better known for his work at the Aubusson Manufactory....
Last year, LACMA acquired a large painting by Isaac Moillon, an artist better known for his work at the Aubusson Manufactory. Isaac was the brother of the better-known Louise Moillon, a painter of still-lifes established in Paris in the first half of the seventeenth century. Both were children of Nicolas Moillon, himself a – now forgotten – artist. Still-life was considered a minor genre in seventeenth century France. For that reason few painters devoted their talent to painting the material world. As a woman, and as a Calvinist, Louise Moillon was, socially-speaking, an outsider; the otherness of her condition may have as a result to helped to abolish some of the strictures that regulated artistic life. She enjoyed great success, her paintings being already perceived as an answer to the challenge posed to French artists by their Northern colleagues, the undisputed masters in the field. Moillon brings starkness to her composition that is entirely hers: here for instance, the simplicity of the subject matter is reinforced by a powerful play of light that evokes even the art of Caravaggio – an unlikely source of inspiration for an artist who never traveled. Moillon’s compositions are not emblematic and do not contain hidden religious meanings yet their simplicity evoke a spiritual world that echoes some of the most austere religious movements of the seventeenth century whether the Jansenist movement (illustrated pointedly in the portraits of Philippe de Chanmpaigne), or Moillon’s own Calvinism. Moillon’s work enjoyed success not only in her lifetime: more recently, her stark pictures appealed to collectors of both Dutch pictures and modern art. Basket of Peaches, Quinces and Plums offers a wonderful complement to Georges de La Tour’s The Magdalen with the Smoking Flame and would illustrate the diversity of French painting under Louis XIII. (J. Patrice Marandel, The Robert H. Ahmanson Chief Curator of European Art)
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