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Copyright
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Le Garde-Manger

Accession Number
1971/2.5

Title
Le Garde-Manger

Artist(s)
Jean-Baptiste Oudry

Object Creation Date
1743

Medium & Support
black chalk, heightened with white on gray-blue prepared laid paper

Dimensions
13 3/8 in. x 10 1/16 in. ( 34 cm x 25.5 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of the Friends of the Museum of Art in honor of Miss Helen B. Hall

Label copy
Oudry’s reputation as a painter was largely due to his success as an animal painter. He produced large complicated genre scenes that included hunting dogs and elaborate presentations of dead game. This drawing, which was in the collection of Jules and Edmond de Goncourt, is related to a painting in the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco entitled Le Pâté that had been executed for the dining room of Jacques Rottiers. Framed in the niche of a pantry, this view of game and other comestibles seems deceptively simple, until the eye begins to appreciate how Oudry delicately balances the pairs of elementsæ bottles, game hanging in the niche, and celery. Although many of his still lifes contain narrative or moralizing overtones, this composition demonstrates Oudry’s familiarity with the simple grandeur of Chardin’s early still lifes, a quality that Diderot described in his Salon reviews of Chardin’s work as la vie silencieuse—the silent life of inanimate objects.
Exhibition label copy from "Eighteenth Century French Prints and Drawings," February 1 - May 4, 2003 by Curator Carole McNamara
Gallery Rotation Fall 2010
Jean-Baptiste Oudry
France, 1686–1755
Le Garde-Manger
1743
Black chalk, heightened with white on gray-blue prepared paper
Museum purchase in honor of Miss Helen B. Hall assisted by the Friends of the Museum, 1971/2.5
Oudry’s artistic reputation was largely due to his success as an animal painter. He produced large complicated genre scenes that included hunting dogs and elaborate presentations of dead game. This drawing is related to a painting in the Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco entitled Le Pâté. Framed in the niche of a pantry, this view of game and other comestibles seems deceptively simple, until the eye begins to appreciate how Oudry delicately balances the pairs of elements—bottles, game hanging in the niche, and celery. Although many of his still lifes contain narrative or moralizing overtones, this composition demonstrates Oudry’s familiarity with the simple grandeur of earlier still lifes, a quality that Denis Diderot, the eighteenth-century Encyclopedist, described
as la vie silencieuse—the silent life of inanimate objects.

Subject matter
Jean-Baptiste Oudry began as a portrait painter, but gained great success as a painter of animals, hunt and still life subjects. In the traditional manner, he created preparatory drawings to design a painting composition. In this still life drawing, "The Pantry," he arranges the fresh game so that it hangs above the prepared meat and other meal ingredients. In still lifes such as this, the artist frequently creates an intricate compositionby carefully arranging the elements. Here, Oudry deftly plays on the notion of pairs: two suspended game, a pair of bottles to the left, the pair of long-stemmed vegetables to the right; the basket, fowl, and leg of game are used to knot the pairs together compositionally. J-B-S. Chardin, later in the 18th c. will become the consumate master of this type of still life.

Physical Description
This black chalk drawing on gray-blue prepared laid paper is vertically oriented. The piece is a still life of the contents of a pantry portrayed within a lightly indicated arched niche. A rabbit and a fowl hang upside-down from a string, dominating the composition. Below them are, from left to right, two vessels, a prepared fowl, long root vegetables, and a wicker basket.

Primary Object Classification
Drawing

Primary Object Type
still life

Collection Area
Western

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Birds
basket
bottle
food
hares
still lifes

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved