Preyer, Johann Wilhelm

1803 Rheydt ‐ 1889 Düsseldorf
"Still life with grapes and apricots", 1842
40 x 60.5 cm
Oil on canvas
Galerie Paffrath

After a trip to Italy, Johann Wilhelm Preyer begins to work on larger formats. Now the still life painter develops a clearer painting vocabulary and a technical mastery that allow him to playfully master the most elaborate compositions.
The work "still life with grapes and apricots" belongs to this phase of his work and impresses with the virtuosity of the meticulous execution. All objects seem close enough to touch and reflect their different textures in perfect painterly style. The play also baffles with light and shadow, which divides the picture into two areas and reminds of a curtain at the window. Preyer has arrived here at the height of his artistic talents, for which he is still highly valued. His paintings competed with the Dutch models of the Baroque period. Contemporary art critics have repeatedly tried to put the phenomenon of Preyer's still lifes into words: "His works are unsurpassed," writes Friedrich von Boetticher at the end of the 19th century - and this assessment is still valid today.

"Still life with grapes and apricots" is listed under No. 190 in the supplement of the catalog raisonné (Paffrath / Weiß. Köln 2009.).

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