Melon and Lemon, Quince and Marguerite

Gaughin had many talents, as we know. I was, however, completely unaware of his talent for still life—until I ran across Melon and Lemon (c. 1900), in which he shows us what makes a lemon such a magnificent object to depict. So, of course, I had to make a collage (actually two) of this painting. Above, you’ll find the lemon and melon superimposed on Tamara Lempicka’s Abstract Composition (1960).

I have difficulty bringing myself to discard large scraps, so after removing the fruit from Gaughin’s still life, I thought I ought to put some back. Dmitry Vlasov graciously provided a melon, grapes, and a glimpse of pomegranate.

As the possibilities provided by Lempicka’s abstract composition continued to tempt me, I made two more collages, the first with George Braque’s Marguerites sur une Caisse (1946):

and the second with Van Gogh’s Still Life with Quinces (1887):

With grateful thanks, yet once again, to my two best pal music friends, here is music old and new to accompany you on your journey:

From Bert, a glorious performance of Handel’s Utrecht Jubilate HWV 279:

From Curt, a brilliant performance of Béla Bartók’s Contrasts für Violine, Klarinette und Klavier:

4 thoughts on “Melon and Lemon, Quince and Marguerite

  1. shoreacres

    I would have been hard pressed not to include the spoon from the melon, grapes, and pomegranate collage into your interpretation of Van Gogh’s “Still Life with Quinces.” After all, it very well could be a runcible spoon!

    “”Dear Pig, are you willing to sell for one shilling
    Your ring?” Said the Piggy, “I will.”
    So they took it away, and were married next day
    By the Turkey who lives on the hill.
    They dined on mince, and slices of quince,
    Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
    And hand in hand, on the edge of the sand,
    They danced by the light of the moon,
    The moon,
    The moon,
    They danced by the light of the moon.”

  2. Susan Scheid Post author

    Haha! “Runcible” has to be one of the best nonsense words ever invented. And you are right, it is now an (almost) irresistible temptation to do yet another collage with both quinces and spoon.

  3. Curt Barnes

    I daresay our collagist is, to use a technical term, on a roll! So much work in such a short time. I was curious to track down Tamara Lempicka, an unfamiliar name, and found a wild ride. She later added a “de” before it, either before or after marrying an actual baron and moving, among other cultural capitals, to Beverly Hills . I’d never heard of a professional painter known early for a hallmark (Art Deco) style who later became derivative (!), but her late work imitated others easily identifiable (Miro, Klee) and in the work you’re using, maybe Serge Poliakoff. So arguably your work is more original than hers!

    1. Susan Scheid Post author

      Lempicka was QUITE a character, it seems. I had not heard of her until I ran across the painting here. There seemed to be endless ways in which it could be repurposed, so I felt I might as well try a few. Speaking of derivative, I’m delighted, first, to be introduced to Poliakoff, so thank you. Also, after finding the Lempicka abstract, I ran across a more recent painting by a painter named Keith Vaughan that reminded me of what Lempicka had done, I suppose in part because of the colors. Made me wonder how many of this sort of thing might be around, one playing off, or subconsciously mimicking, the next: But let me quickly disabuse you or anyone reading this from thinking I have the slightest idea what I’m talking about!

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