Eggs in a pan (Oeufs sur plat) is a still life painting by french artist Antoine Vollon. It is an oil painting on canvas depicting four eggs and their yellow yolks in a pan, sitting on a shelf or bench next to a pitcher of (presumably) water or milk. It was painted in the period between 1885 and 1890 and is now a part of the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria.
The artist, Antoine Vollon, was born in France in the year 1833. He focused primarily on still life painting but also painted figures and landscapes. During his lifetime he enjoyed the status of a celebrity and was widely acknowledged with a great reputation. After completing an apprenticeship as an engraver, teaching himself painting and printmaking, he moved from Lyon to Paris in the year 1859 to further his craft. He was very inspired by the Dutch style of still life painting during that time, which is evident in his own style.
The painting is realistic, however it is not fully refined (arguably the intentional effect) as you can clearly make out a number of different brush strokes within the painting, which betray the painter's technique. The dark background of the painting is a also common characteristic of still life paintings as it allows the featured objects in the foreground to become more prominent. For example, the spanish bodegon paintings would implement a similar technique, framing their still life objects on selves or windowsills with very dark, negative backgrounds. The way in which the wall behind the pan of eggs and the pitcher sinks back due to its darker shade is obviously intentional to bring greater focus to the painting.
The painting is composed of three main elements, namely the featured objects (eggs, pan, pitcher), the wooden shelf on which they are resting, and the dark background which we can assume to be a darkly painted wall. The composition is very traditional for a still life painting, as we have the foreground consuming most of the space within...
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