Perhaps the most talented flower painter of the Neapolitan Baroque, Belvedere's work was inspired in his early career by Paolo Porpora and, in particular, by the early works of Giuseppe Recco. From this period two pairs of pendants survive, depicting Carnations (Naples, Capodimonte) and Tulips (Sorrento, Museo Correale Terranova). Their strong chiaroscuro and refined colours are equally characteristic of his mature work, of which the present picture is an example. In addition, however, this work is imbued with a new opulence inspired by Abraham Breughel and Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo, while the romanticism of his early pictures is still present in such areas as the irises, painted with a soft blue in the shadow; the famous Convolvulus and Guelder Rose in the Capodimonte, Naples, dates from the same period. Between 1694 and 1700 Belvedere was employed at the Spanish court in Madrid. After his return to Naples he abandoned painting almost entirely and devoted his last thirty years to literature and the theatre.
We are grateful to Professor Nicola Spinosa and Professor Riccardo Lattuada for independently confirming the attribution on the basis of a photograph.