Still Life with Lobster (1853) by Adalbert Schaffer

Still Life with Lobster - Adalbert Schaffer - 1853

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life with Lobster
ArtistAdalbert Schaffer
Art MovementAcademicism

About Still Life with Lobster

Adalbert Schaffer’s artwork “Still Life with Lobster,” created in 1853, is an exemplary piece illustrating the Academicism movement prevalent during the mid-19th century. The genre of the artwork is still life, which is characterized by its detailed and realistic depiction of inanimate objects.

The artwork showcases a richly textured composition with an emphasis on luxury and abundance. At the foreground, the lobster, an emblem of opulence, is prominently displayed on a silver platter, its deep red color contrasting starkly against the soft white tones of the draped fabric beneath it. The lobster is accented by greenery, and lemons accompany it, suggesting a sumptuous feast.

In the background, a gold-rimmed bowl and a dark-hued, ornate urn add to the grandeur of the scene, while a cascade of grapes spills forward from a box, their variegated hues of purple and green providing a vibrant display of color and natural beauty that complements the overall composition. A bundle of dried chili peppers hanging to the right lends an air of rustic warmth and introduces another sensory element to the arrangement.

The skillful use of light and shadow in the artwork enhances the textures and forms of the objects, contributing to the realistic appearance that is a hallmark of Academic art. The play of light not only highlights the physical attributes and surfaces but also creates depth and a sense of space within the scene. The careful attention to detail and the rich subject matter reflect the ideals of the Academicism movement, known for its emphasis on technical skill, draughtsmanship, and the classical tradition. Overall, Schaffer’s “Still Life with Lobster” is a fine example of 19th-century craftsmanship and artistic mastery within the still life genre.

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