Perhaps inspired by a Friday-night Jewish Sabbath supper, this early still-life was painted during Gertler’s brief training at the Regent Street Polytechnic (1906–1908). It relates closely to the 'Study of a Still Life' in the National Gallery, signed ‘Chardin. 1754’, but now recognised as by a nineteenth-century imitator. It was painted at a time when Gertler greatly admired the old masters of Dutch realism, and its later followers including Jean-Simeon Chardin, and began to ‘haunt’ the rooms of the National Gallery, crafting his own pictures in their image. These simple kitchen scenes appealed to Gertler because of their familiarity. These were the objects he found in his mother’s kitchen (where he had his first studio) and their close relationship is also reflected here. Gertler later recalled the painting of these ‘simple and loveable little still lives’ as among his finest moments.
Where to see this painting?
Ben Uri, The London Jewish Museum of Art
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