Elena Recco was the daughter and pupil of Giuseppe Recco, the most celebrated Neapolitan still-life painter of his day. Elena emulated the naturalistic still-life arrangements of her father, excelling particularly in depictions of fish. In 1695 she travelled to Spain in the entourage of Contessa di Santo Stefano. The present lot and the following lot amply demonstrate Elena's skill, and are typical of her oeuvre, in the careful observation of light, colour and the richly impastoed surface textures of the fish. Her art, like that of her father's, is characterised by a Baroque sensibility, legible in the confident theatricality of the supple bending forms of the fish. For two comparable paintings by the artist, see F. Zeri, et. al., La Natura Morta in Italia, vol. II, Milan 1989, p. 912, figs. 1101-2.
We are grateful to Professor Riccardo Lattuada for the attribution after examination in the original.