The present pair of still lifes can be dated to the 1660s and are an excellent example of Pedro de Camprobín's art at its finest. As William B. Jordan and Peter Cherry noted, 'The apogee of Camprobín's career was the decade of the 1660s, by which time he had evolved a truly original repertory of still-life types. They encompass fruit still lifes, flowerpieces and dessert still lifes, as well as banquet pieces that combine all of these elements - some of them with landscape or architectural backgrounds and such accoutrements of leisure such as musical instruments. In their quiet refinement, these works are unlike any others painted in Spain, and they establish Camprobín as one of the most distinctive masters of still-life painting in Spain' (see W.B. Jordan and P. Cherry, Spanish Still Life from Velázquez to Goya, exhibition catalogue, London, 1995, p. 111).
The son of a silversmith, Camprobín was an apprentice in the workshop of Luis Tristán in Toledo by 1619. He became a maestro pintor in Seville in June 1630, and in 1660 was, together with Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, Francisco de Herrera and Juan de Valdés Leal, among the founders of the Academia de Bellas Artes in Seville. While his earliest still lifes, which presumably date from the late 1630s and 40s, show the influence of Francisco and Juan de Zurbarán, Camprobín's first dated still lifes (from the early 1650s) reveal an independent spirit. By the 1660s, when the present canvases were painted, he was creating works that fully reflected 'the charm and elegance of life in one of Europe's most beautiful cities' (W.B. Jordan, and P. Cherry, op. cit., p. 110).
We are grateful to Professors William B. Jordan and Peter Cherry for confirming the attribution of these works on the basis of photographs.