Thinking Big

"Lemon in a glass Jar"
Oil on panel
7" x 4.5"
Private collection

I started a new still life today, roughly based on the above painting, but much larger - the new one is 24x30. If my math is correct (always a shaky bet), the lemon will be between 4-6 times life size. This got me to thinking about scale. I can think of plenty of contemporary artists who exaggerate the scale of objects, but I also think it's a relatively new phenomenon in the history of art. Yes, important political and religious figures would be super-sized in some murals, for obvious symbolic reasons, but that's the only situation I can think of. I'm not aware of any still life painter before the 20th century who painted 8"-diameter grapes, for instance... the objects in every classical still life I've seen are life-size, or smaller. But... I will keep my eyes open for this from now on...

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