Liars and Loopholes: Quince, Cumcumber, Cabbage and Melon

7:00 AM

Liars and Loopholes
Subterfuge in Art
Curated by Tessia Phillips


 Sanchez Cotan, Quince, Cucumber, Cabbage, and Melon, 1602

The cheating in this work comes in Cotan;s ability to create overwhelming symbolic beauty and significance… with produce. Debate exists regarding this work’s specific desired meaning, but three arguments stand out.

1. An expression of religion

2. Celebration of nature/sexuality

3. A mere practice in painting

Now, my analysis of this work does not use either one of these possible descriptions exclusively. Rather, I’ll discuss how all three of these make sense, which that in and of itself is incredible. First, I definitely see it. Note the simplicity of these living and beautiful things shining with their curves against a stark black background. Heck, the beauty of the produce more impressive than the ornateness of the frame. The apple overhang implies the possibility of relgious undertones. Second, there is no denying the phallic-shaped fruits. None. Accompanied with the implied fertility from the living things, there is a definite sexual aspect that could be interpreted in this work. Thirdly, oh the detail. A still life itself was revolutionary and new for Cotan's time, and one this beautiful proves even more noteworthy. Each piece of produce is detailed and realistic, even self -contained. Brilliant, beautifully, and believable, Cotan's work draws emotional and spiritual connections with... fruit.

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