Jan Mankes (1889-1920) often opted for a sober depiction with one or a few objects. Here the light is subtly reflected on the glazed jug; the reflection of the heron’s skull on the black background (a table, a marble top?) gives the work depth. The seedpods of the Lunaria have a silky, silvery surfa
...ce with a soft shine.
Mankes liked to paint subjects from nature. When he lived with his parents in De Knijpe (Friesland), he had a studio with a view of the surrounding meadows. He enjoyed walking in the area, and in the yard they kept various animals such as chickens and goats, which regularly became the subjects of his paintings.
His still lifes mainly feature plants and flowers, but also (animal) skulls, such as this heron’s skull. The choice of subject depended on which philosophical questions Mankes wished to raise; he found it important to express these issues in his work and thereby engage his viewers.
Text: Evelien Verheij, collection coordinator
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Jug with Lunaria, a Heron’s Skull, and a Booklet
Oil on canvas
31 x 26 cm (h x w)
Type of object
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