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More like a work of art. For many years the picture has hung on the wall, somewhere in our house. Until recently, we past it virtually on a daily basis, without giving it a second look. Then one day I decided to go on the internet to find out what this picture was all about. To my surprise, I found that the original had been painted sometime in the late sixteen hundreds by an artist called Abraham Mignon (1640 – 1670) He started painting at a very early age and was famous for his still life subjects. This particular painting is called “Flower still life with insects, snails and a monkey” Quite a lengthy title, but when the picture is viewed up close, I can see why.
The picture that I have, measures 760mm x 550mm and has the following characteristics.
The main part of the picture is of a large assortment of flowers in a vase on a table, of which the vase is being pulled over by a monkey, who has a chain tied to its waist and the other end around the stem of the vase. By checking the finer details, one can see a snail at the bottom left and another snail behind the monkey. There are also two butterflies at the top right corner and two caterpillars, one crawling on a leaf at the centre right and the other at centre left, also on a leaf. There is even a walnut on the table. The monkey has a cheeky look on its face, as much to say “Oh Oh”
The colours are vibrant and the more I look at it the more I like it. Although it is not an original and is only a print on canvas, it gives me great joy to know that way back in the 17th century; someone spent the time to paint a still life that would give pleasure to someone over 400 years later.
The internet search shows many more paintings by the same artist, but to me this one is the best, because I have it.