Chardin completed this artwork in 1735, by which point he would have been in his mid-thirties and still developing his own reputation. Although this is not considered to be one of his most famous paintings, there is a beautiful charm in how he recreates the smooth copper look of this drinking fountain. He also makes use of a lighter background and floor than used in most of his other still life artworks. All in all, the final look is significantly different to his other still life domestic works and that alone makes this an important contribution to his career. To provide some context, at around this time he also produced a number of other depictions of copper kitchenware and also had begun releasing portraits for the first time.
This beautiful piece is within the collection of the Louvre in Paris, an institution that has granted this artist an entire room of his own where a number of notable pieces from his career can be found on display. This was completed on a small canvas, measuring only 23cm wide by 28.5cm tall. As far as we are aware, the painting has only ever left Paris once, to be used in an exhibition in New York. There remains a constant rotation between the major art institutions of the US, UK, France and elsewhere in Europe who boost each other's seasonal offerings by merging individual artist's work for eye catching exhibitions. Addressing this composition, besides the copper drinking fountain itself, there is also a number of other smaller items such as a water bucket, an earthenware jug, as well as a small saucepan with long handle.
There is a significant note to this painting which is around its reception from other artists. Paul Cezanne and a number of cubist painters are known to have studied and appreciated the artistic qualities of this piece. Indeed, Chardin has long been known as an artist's artist, due to the supreme technical ability that he honed over many decades, as well as the true attention to detail which resulted in a particularly slow output of work. That said, it is hard to criticise an artist who preferred quality over quantity and you always listen to who other artists most respect within their own profession.