Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin’s The Ray is a masterpiece and one of his diploma pieces which earned him recognition as a master of still life painting. Chardin, who was received into the French Academy in 1728, had an immense love for capturing beauty in previously unacknowledged places. He used a unique painting technique where he would prime canvases with a brownish pigment that gave his paintings an earthy feel.
The Ray depicts the bloody underside of a skate hanging from a hook on a stone wall, with its wings flayed open. The realism captured in this painting is remarkable; detailed highlights and shades make it look almost like the real thing.
Chardin’s attention to detail in The Ray shows that he thought outside the box when it came to still-life art creation. His technique of using everyday items to create paintings allowed him to move beyond typical studio scenes and explore new horizons. Overall, Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin’s The Ray continues to be celebrated for its artistic prowess, visual appeal, and innovative techniques that continue inspiring artists years later.