Oil painting on canvas, measuring 102 x 130 cm without frame and 120 x 145 cm with coeval frame depicting a market scene by the painter Giovanni Martinelli (Montevarchi 1604 - Florence 1659).
Although it is not easy to identify with certainty the subject depicted in this painting, we believe it is very likely that it may be a market scene: the architectures with arcades that can be observed in the wings refer, in fact, to the typical arcades of the squares of an urban center, where the markets find their natural place.
Next to the counter, which welcomes a rich harvest of vegetables and a vase of flowers, a greengrocer is intent on enjoying a slice of apple; the attribution of the painting in question to Giovanni Martinelli is based on an intuition developed in 1974 by Carlo Del Bravo ", around a still life with roses and asparagus, preserved in the Gallery in Florence, as part of the project that involved the city of Montevarchi and the Uffizi Gallery, within which the series "The city of the Uffizi" was created, conceived by Antonio Natali, director of the museum, and by the municipality of Montevarchi, the exhibition entitled "Giovanni Martinelli, maestro of the Florentine seventeenth century ". The exhibition, curated by Andrea Baldinotti, Bruno Santi and Riccardo Spinelli, was held in Montevarchi, the artist's birthplace.
It is the first monographic exhibition dedicated to the Tuscan painter, one of the most fascinating and enigmatic figures of art of the seventeenth century but also, except for the small circle of specialists, one of the least known. Also in 2011, a valuable publication dates back: Giovanni Martinelli da Montevarchi painter in Fir enze; it presents and illustrates the famous painting of the church of Saints Stefano and Caterina di Pozzolatico as the North Star for Cecco del Bravo, to reconstruct the painter's artistic activity.
The Tuscan character of Martinelli's still life is manifested in an expressive language that also clearly informs our painting; in fact, next to the vase of flowers, which is influenced by a figurative culture close to Bartolomeo Ligozzi, a bunch of asparagus is depicted, a subject particularly dear to Martinelli and such as to constitute an emblematic trace of his poetics. And it is, in particular, the theme of the depiction of asparagus, as well as, of course, for aesthetic reasons, that allows us to expand the gaunt catalog of Giovanni Martinelli, assigning him the painting in question. Finally, the figure of the greengrocer present on the right of our painting is also attributed to Martinelli: to make it, the artist did not need to resort to a figure specialist, being himself an excellent figure painter.
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