Nordic artist active in Rome in the last quarter of the 17th century
Still life with vase of flowers, fruits and architectural ruins
The painting is part of a couple: the twin is also visible in the gallery, but can be purchased individually.
Oil on canvas cm. 120 x 150 (145 x 177 including frame)
The two large canvases presented here, depicting Still Life with Flowers, Fruits, Decorated Vases, a Parrot and a Monkey and Still Life with Vase of Flowers, Fruits and Architectural Ruins, are typical examples of the great baroque decoration that saw its maximum splendor in Rome in the second half of the seventeenth century. The magnificent baroque splendour took its most striking forms in the great aristocratic palaces of the Colonna, the Chigi, the Borghese, the Rospigliosi, the Pallavicini, where the greatest exponents of figure painting, landscape and genres active in Rome at that time worked. This taste gradually took hold also with the minor patriciate and the upper middle class of bankers and professionals, who used less famous artists from the shops that were flourishing in the city. As for the depictions of still life, the highest representatives were initially specialists: Mario Nuzzi and Giovanni Stanchi for flowers, Michelangelo del Campidoglio for fruits, Francesco Noletti for elegant compositions with carpets. In the second half of the century the artists moved in the direction of greater versatility, for example a painter of Apulian origin like Carlo Manieri painted indifferently all three of the above mentioned subjects, often mixing them inside the same compositions. A fundamental contribution to the development of the so-called Roman genre painting was given by the large number of foreign artists active in the city: it was headed by Flemings, Dutch, Germans, gathered in guilds called Bent.
Flourishing was also the colony of the French, but they were painters of higher artistic lineage, specialists of figure devoted to historical, mythological and religious scenes, sent to Italy under the protection of Louis XIV, who could count on attending the prestigious Academy of France, founded in 1666 at the instigation of Jean-Baptiste Colbert and Gian Lorenzo Bernini. The two large canvases presented here are works by a Nordic painter fascinated by Roman culture, so well evident in the perspective fleeing exposure of two vases historiated in the painting with monkey and parrot, designed to be placed on the left, and two plinths in the other, designed to be the right element of the pair. The term nordico is meant to refer generically to an artist of Flemish culture who may have derived his origins in Germany, as shown by the formidable Roman examples of Christian Berentz and Franz Werner von Tamm. The mixture of fruits, flowers, small animals such as monkeys and parrots, decorated vases and classical finds proposed outdoors with narrow landscape openings makes one think more of a painter who knew the works of David de Coninck remained in Rome from 1672 to 1694. This time frame is certainly the most accredited to date even the two great still lifes presented here.
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