Still life (Sottobosco) by Abraham Begeyn

Still life (Sottobosco) - Abraham Begeyn -

Artwork Information

TitleStill life (Sottobosco)
ArtistAbraham Begeyn
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions73 x 58 cm.
Art MovementBaroque
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About Still life (Sottobosco)

Still life (Sottobosco) is an oil on canvas artwork by Abraham Begeyn, an artist associated with the Baroque movement. The framed artwork measures 73 x 58 cm.

“Sottobosco” means “undergrowth” in Italian, and this still-life painting is meant to convey the flora and fauna at the forest floor. 

The painting showcases a variety of natural elements arranged in a rich and lively composition. The central focus is on an arrangement of flora and fauna, suggesting a scene of natural abundance and diversity. Dead leaves, possibly those of a beet plant, anchor the composition at the bottom, with their crumpled textures and earthy tones contrasting with the more vibrant, living parts of the scene.

Bursts of color are seen in the red bloom of a flower, likely a poppy, near the center-right, accompanied by white and possibly yellow blossoms closer to the ground. Butterflies with intricate wing patterns and varying colors flutter around the space, adding a sense of movement and delicacy to the scene. Birds, presented in various stages of flight or rest, bring an additional layer of life to the composition; their feathers display a variety of patterns and hues, contributing to the overall sense of diversity in nature.

The dark, possibly wooded background allows the brightly colored elements of the still life to stand out prominently, drawing the viewer’s attention to the details of each component. The arrangement evokes a sense of both tranquility and ephemeral beauty, characteristic of still life paintings, which often seek to capture a frozen moment in time, preserving the fleeting beauty of living things.

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