Still Life with Cooking Utensils
c. 1728-30
Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (French, 1699-1779)
Not on View

The food and kitchen utensils in this painting appears casually arranged. This display is, however, based on carefully calculated visual relationships. In Still Life with Cooking Utensils, the visual weight of the white cloth that spills over the ledge is matched by the similar disposition of the green onions. The handle of the water jug counters the emphatic circular sweep of the kettle, whose hollowness adds depth to the arrangement. The scenes betoken an intimate domesticity, a place of blessing related to the fundaments of human life.

Chardin’s contemporaries recognized that his method of applying paint and color was unique and unprecedented. Denis Diderot, an Enlightenment philosopher and art writer, said of Chardin in a 1765 Salon review, “it is the air and light you take with the tip of your brush and fix to your canvas… [your work] exists between nature and art.” Chardin’s skill at imparting the haptic, or tactile, qualities of motionless objects through the steady emphasis of his brush, rather than a faithful reproduction of the details, promotes a sense of quiet harmony.


  • Artist Name: Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (French, 1699-1779)
  • Title: Still Life with Cooking Utensils
  • Date: c. 1728-30
  • Medium: Oil on canvas (one of a pair)
  • Dimensions: 15-3/4 x 12-3/8 in. (40.0 x 31.4 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1969.38.03.1.P
  • Copyright: © The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

MM. Laneuville and Henry, Paris (sale, Paris, 9-11 April 1822, lot 85).
Private Collection, London (Leon Michel-Levy?)
[Georges Wildenstein collection, Schloss Moyre bei Colombiers by 1921];
Hermann Goering;
Recovered by Allied Forces, where they were recorded as nos. 7392 and 7393 at the Munich Central Collecting Point, returned to;
[Wildenstein collection];
[Wildenstein Galleries, New York, sold 8 June 1957 to];
Robert Ellis Simon, Los Angeles, gift to;
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Exposition des ouvres de J.B.S. Chardin

  • Paris, Galerie Pigalle, 1929 to
Furst, H., Apollo, fig. VI p. 32
Rosenberg, Pierre, Chardin: 1699-1779, pp. 160-163
Furst, H., The Connoisseur, p. 16
Russell, S., Art in the World, repr. , no. 279 p. 218
Martin, K., Allen Memorial Art Museum Bulletin, figs. 1, 2 pp. 20-22
Morse, John D., Old Master Paintings in North America, p. 47
Conisbee, Philip, Chardin, pp. 90-91
Martin, K., Fetschrift Kurt Bauch, no. 9 pp. 240, 243
Goncourt, E.; and J. Goncourt, L'art du XVIIIe siècle, p. 187
Goldstein, N., Design and Composition, p. 209
Elsen, A., Purposes of Art,
Guiffrey, J., J.B.S. Chardin, nos. 10, 11
Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 92
Stechow, W., Catalogue of European and American Paintings and Sculpture in the Allen Memorial Art Museum, p. 33
Wildenstein, George, Chardin, nos. 933, 943, pl. XCII, figs. 127, 128
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 61A p. 251
Wildenstein, Daniel, Chardin, nos. 62, 63, figs. 29, 30

Additional Artwork by Artist

Dog and Game Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin 1730
Still Life with Fowl Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin c. 1728-30

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form