Cambrai, Nord 1753 - Valenciennes, Nord 1835
Nature morte avec des fleurs
Still Life with Flowers
Dimensions (HxWxD): 27 1⁄8 x 18 7⁄8 in.
under the base: AUBERT PARENT FECIT AN. 1789
Acc. No.: 84.SD.76
Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
Photo credit: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
- Museum's website, 22 March 2012 and August 7, 2018
- 1985 Streeter
Colin Streeter, "Two Carved Reliefs by Aubert Parent", The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, vol. 13, January 1985, p. 53-66
- 1997 Fusco
Peter Fusco, Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997, p. 40, repr.
- 2006-2007 Los Angeles
Casting Nature: François-Thomas Germain's Machine d'Argent, Los Angeles, The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, July 11, 2006-March 25, 2007
Significant Objects: The Spell of Still Life, Pasadena, Norton Simon Museum, July 19, 2012-January 22, 2013
- Museum's website, August 7, 2018:
This virtuoso carving, produced from a single plank of limewood, demonstrates the accomplished skills of its maker, Aubert Parent, who came to prominence in 1777 when one of his panels was accepted as a gift by Louis XVI, king of France. The relief shows a vase of flowers, including poppies, roses, lilac, lilies-of-the-valley, and daisies, on a plinth. Parent used various levels of carving to make the design seem more lifelike. For example, the flattened "carved" acanthus leaves on the vase contrast sharply with the "real" leaves of the roses and grapevine surrounding it. Parent once noted that the delicate lilac blossoms in particular were extremely difficult to carve, as they had to be worked from both above and below without breakage.
The lower part of the scene--a pair of birds defending their nest from a grass snake and a slug--alludes to parental responsibility and, indirectly, to the duty of the French monarchy toward its subjects at the beginning of the French Revolution.