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    Sale 7575

    Old Master and British Pictures

    25 April 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 46

    Follower of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio

    Narcissi and a carnation in an urn on a stone ledge with cherries, figs and butterflies

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Follower of Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
    Narcissi and a carnation in an urn on a stone ledge with cherries, figs and butterflies
    oil on canvas
    19¼ x 25¾ in. (48.9 x 65.4 cm.)


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    This painting belongs to a group of five Caravaggesque still lifes by the same hand, and is one of the earliest known still lifes dating from the early 17th century. Ferdinando Bologna attributed the first of this group to Caravaggio (Vase of flowers, fruit and two butterflies in the Lorenzelli collection; see Natura in Posa, 1968, no. 9), an attribution that was later questioned by Federico Zeri when he identified the pendant to that picture (see Diario di Lavoro 2, 1976, p. 102, figs. 100-1). Luigi Salerno, who published the present lot and its pendant (sold Christie's, New York, 6 April 2006, lot 57), demonstrated that all these pictures, along with a still life in the Molinari Pradelli collection, were by the same hand (loc. cit.). He also noted that many of the motifs in this group, such as the pietra dura vase, appeared in paintings by Agostino Verrocchio (born Rome c. 1586), who clearly held these pictures in great regard (see, for example, L. Salerno, Still life painting in Italy, 1984, fig. 24.5). Both Agostino and his older brother, Giovanni Battista Verrocchio (Rome 1573-1626), formed their studio well within Caravaggio's lifetime. One recent hypothesis by Drs. Gianluca and Ulisse Bocchi is that Giovanni Battista Verrocchio was the author of the present painting (loc. cit.), so strongly reflective of Caravaggio's Roman still lifes.

    We are grateful to Dr. John Spike for his assistance in the cataloguing of this lot.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Literature

    L. Salerno, Still Life Painting in Italy, Rome, 1984, pp. 46-50, fig. 13.2.
    L. Salerno, Italienische Stillebenmalerei aus drei Jahrhunderten Sammlung Lodi, exhibition catalogue, Florence, 1984, pp. 38-40, fig. 10.
    A. Cottino, 'La natura morta caravaggesca a Roma', in F. Zeri, ed., La natura morta in Italia, Milan, 1989, II, p. 675.
    Italian still life painting, from the Silvano Lodi collection, exhibition catalogue, Jerusalem, 1994, p. 32.
    A. Cottino, et. al., La natura morta al tempo di Caravaggio, exhibition catalogue, Naples, 1995, pp. 128-9, no. 24.
    Italian still life painting, from the Silvano Lodi collection, exhibition catalogue, Tokyo, 2001, p. 46, no. 8.
    M. Gregori, 'Le botteghe romane e l'accademia di Giovanni Battista Crescenzi', in M. Gregori, ed., La natura morta italiana da Caravaggio al Settecento, 2002-3, p. 36, as formerly attributed to Caravaggio, c. 1593.
    S. Dathe, Natura morte italian: Italienische stilleben aus vier Jahrhunderten, Sammlung Silvano Lodi, exhibition catalogue, Ravensburg, 2003, p. 39.
    G. Bocchi and U. Bocchi, Pittori di Natura Morta a Roma. Artisti Italiani 1630-1750, Viadana, 2004, pp. 14-6, fig. FV.2.


    Exhibited

    Munich, Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Alte Pinakothek; Berlin, Gemäldegalerie Staatliche Museen-Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Italian still life painting from three centuries, the Silvano Lodi collection, 27 November 1984-27 October 1985, no. 10.
    Rome, Musei capitolini, La natura morta al tempo di Caravaggio, 15 December 1995-14 April 1996, no. 24.
    Tokyo, Seiji Togo Memorial Museum of Art, Italian still life painting, from the Silvano Lodi collection, 28 April-26 May 2001, no. 8; and on tour in Japan.
    Ravensburg, Schloss Achberg, Natura morte italian: Italienische stilleben aus vier Jahrhunderten, sammlung Silvano Lodi, 11 April-12 October 2003.