Bakery Counter (1962) by Wayne Thiebaud

Bakery Counter - Wayne Thiebaud - 1962

Artwork Information

TitleBakery Counter
ArtistWayne Thiebaud
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions139.4 x 182.6 cm
Art MovementPop Art
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Bakery Counter

“Bakery Counter,” a captivating oil on canvas by Wayne Thiebaud, was completed in 1962 and is an exemplary work of the Pop Art movement. The artwork, with dimensions of 139.4 x 182.6 cm, can be classified under the genre of still life. Currently housed within a private collection, this painting manifests Thiebaud’s distinctive style and thematic preoccupation with consumer goods, especially edibles.

The artwork presents a bakery counter filled with an assortment of baked goods displayed across three shelves within a glass casing. The top shelf showcases well-defined, stout loaves of bread sitting next to a trio of circular cakes, their icing meticulously rendered. The middle shelf offers us a selection of pastries, cakes, and pies, each depicted with individual characteristics that set them apart, despite the uniformity of their presentation. The bottom shelf appears heavily laden with rows of assorted doughnuts, tarts, and cookies—each item painted with a delightful attention to detail, highlighting Thiebaud’s fascination with repetitiveness and order in commercial displays. The use of thick paint and pronounced shadows gives the food items a tactile richness, almost invoking the sense of taste through the visual medium. Shadows are cast starkly, emphasizing the light source and adding depth to the composition. The color palette is muted yet vibrant, creating a playful atmosphere that mirrors the enchantment one may feel when peering through a bakery window. The foreground is simply defined, and there is a conspicuous absence of human figures, directing the viewer’s full attention to the colorful array of confectioneries—an homage to the quintessential American bakery experience of the time.

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