During this time in his career Chardin would often feature bright white objects that would help to direct light around the accompanying items and he does so here again with the use of this large mug. On other occasions he had already made use of a china pitcher for the same purpose. We also find a knife dangling off the edge of the table which he used to create a vertical drop in the painting as well as a small shadow which helped to illustrate the angles and perspective of this composition. The table itself is wooden, most likely, and is somewhat light than in some of his other depictions. The wall behind is plain and dark, absorbing some of the fruit in front of it, or at least the darker sides of them.

The larger image below helps us to appreciate more of the original detail and we can even make out some of the cracks that have appeared whilst the painting aged over the last few centuries. There are some beautiful tones of red which allows the apples to brighten the piece and a pear stands confidently alongside. The mixture of fruit allows Chardin to experiment with different shapes and forms as well as vary the colours too. There is also a small gap in the table, perhaps where two have been pushed together in order to set up this precise look. Frenchman Chardin remains most famous for still lifes such as this and consistently experimented with different objects in different arrangements.

The painting is dated at 1764 and in this decade the artist's health was just starting to suffer. He would end with still life work completely within six years and from that point onwards he only worked with pastels, due to the physical limitations placed upon him. The original artwork can now be found in the collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. They possess a wide selection of French art from all manner of different periods, including a number of artists from the 18th century, making it an excellent venue for those looking to learn more about art history or even to get to see some of these paintings up close and to admire the extraordinary brushwork used by painters such as these.

Still Life with a White Mug in Detail Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin