9 July 2008,
London, King Street
Price realised GBP 85,250
Estimate GBP 40,000 - GBP 60,000
Italo-Flemish School, circa 1620
Tulips, roses, irises, carnations, forget-me-nots and other flowers in a vase, with insects and coins, on a table
oil on panel
27¼ x 20 in. (69.3 x 50.8 cm.)
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The attribution for this highly individual and intensely coloured still-life is yet to be established with certainty. It is undeniably close in style to the flower paintings of Jan Brueghel the Elder from around 1610-1615, amongst which - the picture datable to 1611 in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (Inv. 570). However, the density of the flowers and their relatively large size is more in keeping with the work of Osaias Beert or Ambrosius Bosschaert from the same period. While the style of this picture is overtly Netherlandish, it has the unusual distinction of being painted on a walnut or chestnut panel (rather than oak) whose origins are almost certainly Italian. Neither is the panel the only Italian link. The silver coin on the table is actually an identifiable medal bearing the portrait of Pope Pius V struck by the papal medallist Gian Federico Bonzagni in 1571. The gold coin is a rare example of a byzantine solidus cast during the time of Anastasius I (191-518 AD). Given this Italian connection and the unusual manner of the execution, the possiblity exists that the author was either of Flemish origin active in Italy or conceivably Italian working in the contemporary Flemish manner.
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