Lines and Colors art blog

Luis Meléndez

Luis Egidio Melendez
18th century painter Luis Egidio Meléndez was one of the greatest Spanish still life painters, and to my mind, one of the great still life painters of history, though he received little recognition in his own time.

His mastery of texture, light and composition elevated his subjects — fruit, melons, fish, game and Chardin-like kitchen implements — from the mundane to the sublime, much like Chardin himself.

Chardin was a contemporary of Meléndez, but whether one artist was aware of the other, I don’t know.

Like Chardin, Meléndez created a sense of quiet, intimate contemplation in his still life, conveying the meditative aspects of that magical transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary that is one of the great powers of art.

Unfortunately, the quality of the images of Meléndez’s work on the web varies, and is often not good. The best images i’ve found are on the Google Art Project, the Met and the Prado, Madrid. The latter is not that easy to search, but there is a page on Artclopedia that lists the 6 images and links to them. Click through twice for high-resolution versions.

There is a monograph, Luis Melendez: master of the Spanish Still Life, that appears to be out of print, but should be available used if you’re patient.


10 responses to “Luis Meléndez”

  1. So glad you’re back Charley! I love that bread in the first painting. Wow.

  2. Beth London Avatar
    Beth London

    I would love to see this in person! I’m with the commentator about, the texture in the bread is so beautifully done. Thank you.

    1. Beth, I agree about seeing these in person. I’m going to make a point of refreshing my familiarity with those I know of within my reach, in the National Gallery, DC and the Met, NY.

  3. Over time I’ve found myself looking at Chardin less and Melendez more. A lot more.

    1. Thanks, Jeff, an interesting thought, given your own background.

      Other readers can see what I mean by viewing Jeff Hayes’ still life paintings.

  4. AElle Avatar

    Hi Charley,
    After my pc succumbed to a vicious virus I’m back with a new screen, re-installed Windows and back-up HDD recovery external (Costs 91,50 Euro).
    How I missed all the goodies from Lines and Colors during the past weeks/months!

    1. Sorry you were having problems, AElle, but glad to have you back. Lines and Colors was having its own technical problems until recently.

  5. AElle Avatar

    Tell me all about them, please? I’m all ears and eyes.

    1. Just database issues that kept some people from being able to see the site:

  6. Wow, wow, wow! Love his work and thanks for the link to Jeff’s work also. Plenty to drool over! I am in awe of both of these artists! Thank you, once again, for all this lovely eye candy! ! !