The present unusual and elegant still life by the preeminent Roman floral painter Mario Nuzzi, called Mario dei Fiori, features an array of blossoms in a sculpted urn on a tabletop, all set against a dramatic gold ground. It relates to a pair of paintings, Angels and Flowers (Museo Stibbert, Florence), which are thought to be decorative panels painted for a carriage belonging to Cosimo III of Tuscany (see M. Mosco, et al., Floralia: florilegio dalle collezioni fiorentine del Sei-Settecento, exhibition catalogue, Florence, 1988, p. 68, no. 31). Mario Nuzzi rarely painted on gold ground, preferring instead the striking contrast between vividly-colored, sharply-lit flowers and a blank dark ground, yet what he sacrifices in realism here he makes up in pure decorative value. The reds and blues of the flowers are mirrored in the red and blue floral tablecloth, while the gold of the ground is echoed in the gold daffodils in the bouquet.
Stylistically, there is a connection between the present painting and a pair of Still Lifes with Flowers (private collection, Rome), which were identified by Federico Zeri as the work of Mario dei Fiori.