In his own day, Vollon was hailed as a second Chardin. This work, probably painted in the late 1870s, exhibits his technical virtuosity in describing the surface, light, and texture of everyday objects. His still lifes, in their choice of theme, palette, and broad handling, reflect the influence of his mentor Ribot, whose work was likewise indebted to seventeenth-century Spanish painting.
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William Merritt Chase, New York (sold to Walker); William Hall Walker, New York and Great Barrington, Mass. (until d. 1917)
Wilmington, N.C. Wilmington WPA Museum of Art. "Paintings by Old Masters from The Metropolitan Museum of Art," April 2–May 4, 1941, no. 18 (as "The Big White Cheese").
Canton, Ohio. Canton Art Institute. January 6–May 1, 1944, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Van Gogh as Critic and Self-Critic," October 30, 1973–January 6, 1974, no. 45 (as "Big White Cheese").
New York. David Findlay Galleries, Inc. "Antoine Vollon: An Exhibition of Paintings," November 12–December 13, 1980, no catalogue.
Gifu, Japan. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Gifu. "Paris autour de 1882: Le développement de la peinture moderne en France et Hôsui Yamamoto," November 3–December 19, 1982, no. 64.
Kamakura. Kanagawa Museum of Modern Art. "Paris autour de 1882: Le développement de la peinture moderne en France et Hôsui Yamamoto," January 20–February 20, 1983, no. 64.
New York. Wildenstein & Co., Inc. "Antoine Vollon (1833–1900): A Painter's Painter," October 27, 2004–January 7, 2005, no. 46.
Frances Lauderbach. "Notes from Talks by William M. Chase. Summer Class, Carmel-by-the Sea, California. Memoranda from a Student's Note Book." American Magazine of Art 8 (September 1917), p. 437, quotes Chase's undated statement regarding Vollon's still life pictures: "'Vollon also painted such subjects well. I have one by him which I prize most highly — a big cream-cheese and a bowl of milk'" [identified as our painting by Ref. Pisano 1986].
Josephine L. Allen and Elizabeth E. Gardner. A Concise Catalogue of the European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1954, p. 100.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 142–43, ill., compare it to the still lifes of Chardin, Ribot, and seventeenth-century Spanish painters.
Ronald G. Pisano in Maureen C. O'Brien. In Support of Liberty: European Paintings at the 1883 Pedestal Fund Art Loan Exhibition. Exh. cat., Parrish Art Museum. Southampton, N.Y., 1986, p. 67, fig. 8, [see Ref. Lauderbach 1917].
Barbara Dayer Gallati. William Merritt Chase. New York, 1995, p. 125, ill., notes that Chase owned twenty works by Vollon, including this one.
Katharine Baetjer. European Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art by Artists Born Before 1865: A Summary Catalogue. New York, 1995, p. 448, ill.
Eliot Rowlands inAntoine Vollon (1833–1900): "A Painter's Painter". Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 2004, pp. 122–23, 135, no. 46, ill. p. 74 (color), dates it about 1875–80; mentions a similar Vollon still life with cheese (sale, Kunstveilingen S. J. Mak Van Waay, Amsterdam, October 15, 1963, no. 501).
Carol Forman Tabler inAntoine Vollon (1833–1900): "A Painter's Painter". Exh. cat., Wildenstein & Co., Inc. New York, 2004, p. 15, notes a similar cheese depicted in a Maurice Lourdey caricature of Vollon painting a still life (published in "Revue illustrée" 15, May 1, 1893, p. 355).
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