Jan van Huysum

The Grapevine’s Lament

Anthologia Palatina 9.261 = Epigonos of Thessalonica (1st cent. BCE?)

I, the vine, once enjoyed a youth
Full of vine-blossoms blooming finely,
And brought forth grapes in long-stretched clusters.
But now I am growing old, as you see.
Behold how time subdues us all!
Even the cluster of grapes must feel
The wrinkled furrows of old age.

Ἡ πάρος εὐπετάλοισιν ἐν οἰνάνθαις νεάσασα
    καὶ τετανῶν βοτρύων ῥᾶγα κομισσαμένη
νῦν οὕτω γραιοῦμαι. ἴδ’, ὁ χρόνος οἷα δαμάζει·
    καὶ σταφυλὴ γήρως αἰσθάνεται ῥυτίδων.

Still Life of Grapes and a Peach on a Table-top, follower of Jan van Huysum, prob. 19th century


Jan van Huysum - Fruit Piece [1722] by Gandalf
Via Flickr:
In what may be a companion piece to the Getty Museum’s Vase of Flowers, Jan van Huysum combined the lustrous realism of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings with the bright colours characteristic of the eighteenth century in a lavish still life of fruit and flowers. The asymmetrical arrangement of bursting and overripe fruit spills over onto the ledge, some falling prey to insects. Flowers droop under the weight of their extravagant blooms. Van Huysum deftly rendered the translucence of the grapes, the crisp surfaces of the leaves, and the wiry texture of the vines. The highly finished surfaces of Van Huysum’s paintings were the result of a laborious application of glazes to the canvas. He jealously guarded the details of this technique, allowing no visitors in his studio.  

[Getty Centre, Los Angeles - Oil on panel, 80 x 61 cm]