Painting oil on canvas 90 x 65 cm without frame and 100 x 78 cm with coeval frame depicting a vase of flowers with fruit by the painter Elian Terwesten (Aia 1661 - Rome 1724).
This "Vase of flowers", whose luxuriant and variegated floral bouquet comes out of a painted metal container placed on a square wooden block with a bunch of white grapes on the right, while another red is on the ground in the center with half a watermelon next to it split from the jagged edge.
A simple inventiveness framed with an essential compositional cut, animated by a brilliant chromatism, which reflects a Flemish taste, assimilated and strongly influenced in the eighteenth century by the prolific line of transalpine specialists in the wake of JB Monnoyer.
At a first glance we immediately find a pertinent identification in the name of Elias Terwesten (Aja 1661 - Rome 1724), son of Jacob and brother of Augustinus Terwesten.
He initially worked in Berlin for the Brandenburg court then in 1694 he was sent to Rome to purchase works of art, but here he joined the Schildersbent with the nicknames of Den Brander and Paradijsvoge. Married, he remained in the Eternal City until his death.
He devoted himself to the representation of historical and genre subjects, but above all of animals and natures, generally of flowers and fruit, for which he was particularly known.
Based on the comparison with his few works so far known, however, compared to a certain activity of his, up to now largely to be brought back to light, intended for private clients and therefore on the decorative level of pure furniture we can see how the painting elegantly describes very decorated vase almost lacquered, a very rare novelty for the time, embossed with flowers and fruit and the style, with a marked Italian accent and indebted to Mario Nuzzi, betrays a distinctly Northern European sensibility. Analyzing the image, it is also possible to find a lexicon that will then unite the various foreign masters active in Rome during the second half of the century. In this regard, we cite Franz Werner Tamm (Hamburg, 1658 - Vienna, 1724), Karel van Vogelaer (Mastricht, 1653 - Rome, 1695) and in particular Esaias Terwesten (Ouwekerk, 1651 - Rome, 1724/1729), authors of that renewal of the Baroque still life towards its eighteenth-century evolution.
The aforementioned criticism recalled Elias by emphasizing the painter's gifts “for a taste that introduces elements of Roman culture with highly skilled professional results, for an attention exercised on the Flemish specimens present at the court. Thanks to these public works, the Flemish painter certainly had to collect a flattering credit, fueled by the cosmopolitan climate imprinted on the capital which certainly fueled a renewed interest in art on the part of the aristocracy. A climate which Terwesten was able to benefit positively by expressing his skills as a pleasant decorator with paintings of a simpler layout such as the present one examined here.
Splendid example of the production of Flemish still life; this painting constitutes an important acquisition to Elias' catalog, depicting a vase of flowers rioccamente on display, fresh, cheerful and colorful together with a delicate representation of fruit.
The main features of this painting are the smoothness of execution in this lively and rich composition and the vibrant pictorial touches that give life to a sublime and decidedly sparkling chromatism and chiaroscuro incidence.
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