Throughout his life, Jean Baptiste Chardin wrote his works in almost only two directions – everyday life scenes and still life. The painter perfectly mastered both genres. In everyday compositions, he showed life in the low class – working women, playing children. In his still lifes Chardin also adhered to simplicity, depicting at first glance inconspicuous objects.
In these pictures he shows the desire to know the life of objects, the delight of the variety of natural things and their beauty.
Still Life “Attributes of the Arts” ordered the painter Catherine II. She wanted to decorate one of the halls in the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts. Chardin portrayed the picture is much calmer than many other works.
The composition of the still life is beautifully composed. It shows the harmony characteristic of all the works of the artist. On the main plan of the picture is the statuette of Mercury, made by the French sculptor Pigalle. Around the statuette are working tools of artists, architects and sculptors. Brushes and a palette are inaccurately placed in a box of paints. The draftsman’s tools sparkling with a cold sheen peep out of the blue case. Piles of books and engravings are piled up all around. But, despite the chaos that seems to be around, the composition of the painting is composed in a precise order.
The classical artistic order is emphasized by a colorful color palette, rich in various shades. But at the same time, the picture is stingy with bright colors. Among the restrained brown, white and gray tones there are only a few bright spots. Still life seems to be soaked with calmness and balance, it seems that the artist breathed life into inanimate objects on the canvas.