Skip to main content

Adolphe Monticelli, Still Life: Oysters, Fish

Key facts
Full title Still Life: Oysters, Fish
Artist Adolphe Monticelli
Artist dates 1824 - 1886
Date made about 1878-82
Medium and support Oil on wood, probably mahogany
Dimensions 46.4 × 61.6 cm
Inscription summary Signed
Acquisition credit Presented as part of the 'Harry Wearne Collection of Twelve Paintings by Monticelli' to the Tate Gallery, 1939; transferred, 1956
Inventory number NG5013
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Still Life: Oysters, Fish
Adolphe Monticelli

A drinking glass, a vase, a plate of oysters, some small fish – probably sardines – and a half-peeled lemon lie on a table against a flat dark background. The highly patterned tablecloth is also present in the artist’s Still Life: Fruit and A Vase of Wild Flowers (both in the National Gallery), making it possible that they were painted as pendants.

Monticelli painted fewer still lifes than any other subject, probably because he preferred to paint outdoors than to work in the studio. Nevertheless, his painted landscapes are generally far less realistic than his still lifes. Here, Monticelli looks back to Dutch seventeenth-century still lifes, which demonstrate the artist’s virtuosity through the careful description of objects and textures. This is evident in the naturalism with which he paints the light reflected in the glass and the texture of the juicy pulp of the lemon.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo