Probably born in Milan, Margherita Caffi (née Volò) married Ludovico in 1668, who was, like his wife, a still life painter. In their composition and execution, full of exuberant colour, Caffi’s still lifes show the influence of key Roman baroque flower painters, such as Mario Nuzzi and Abraham Breughel. Caffi’s style is typified in this picture, with the seemingly spontaneous arrangement of flowers, their stems twisted as they spill onto the floor, reminiscent of Vicenzo Volò, called Vicenzino. Caffi played a significant role in the development of still life painting in the north of Italy, where documents record her living in Cremona, Piacenza and Milan, presumably moving to satisfy patrons’ requests. She came to the greater attention of scholars after an exhibition in Naples in 1964, and since then the number of pictures attributed to her has steadily grown, with works found listed in the inventories of the Palazzo Pitti and the Villa Medicea di Poggio a Caiano, and examples of her oeuvre found in the Uffizi and the Prado in Madrid.