Fruit Displayed on a Stand is an oil on canvas painting by French artist Gustave Caillebotte. The painting, which Caillebotte did around 1881-1882, was for Albert Courtier, who was the painter's friend. Courtier commissioned the painting for his dining room. It is done in the impressionist style that characterised Caillebotte's works. As with most of his paintings, Fruit Displayed on a Stand is done from a vantage point. Here, the spectator seems to be standing over a fruit stand, as if choosing what to buy.
A Balanced Contrast of Colours
Caillebotte's Fruit Displayed on a Stand displays a nice arrangement of different fruits on a market stand. It is a collection of different fruits, including apples, oranges and pears. Each type of fruit is arranged in its own bunch, which gives the display a sense of order. The fruits have various colours that blend well to create a distinct harmony. At the edge of the stand are plant leaves whose rich green colour frames the fruits perfectly. The fruits are on a white paper, which provides great contrast against the colourful display. Besides the colours, there is symmetry in the portion sizes. The large fruits like the watermelons are apportioned bigger spaces on the stand than the small ones like grapes. This arrangement offers a visually balanced display that is pleasing to look at.
The Consumerism Theme
Consumerism is one of the common themes Caillebotte explored in his paintings. He used produce stands, butcher shops and patisseries to highlight the seductions found in the markets of Paris. The presentation of the fruits in such lush colours is meant to attract customers to spend money. What Caillebotte aimed to show was that there was a strong connection between what people could see and their willingness to dip into their pockets.
Unlike many impressionists, Caillebotte had a more subdued palette in his paintings and a tighter handling of paint rather than the loose brushwork that was typical of his colleagues. The brush strokes in this painting are clean and sensuous, which give the fruits a luscious feel. A spectator can almost taste the juicy ref tomatoes or feel that crackling of the fresh pears when biting into one. Other impressionists of the era described Caillebotte's style as excessively original, saying that he provided a faithful representation of life. Fruit Displayed on a Stand is currently at the Museum of Fine Arts.