We are grateful to Professor Riccardo Lattuada for suggesting the attribution to Michelangelo del Campidoglio on the basis of a color transparency (verbal communication, 5 November 2004). He compares the present lot to the Study of fruits (see La natura morta in Italia, Milan, 1989, II, p. 739, no. 874).
Although Michelangelo del Campidoglio is recorded as being one of the most eminent still-life painters in seventeenth century Rome, it is difficult to reconstruct his oeuvre, since no signed works are known. His still lifes are often confused with those of Abraham Brueghel and vice-versa: their compositions of grapes, pomegranates and melons, painted with a rich colored impasto and displayed against landscape backgrounds are strikingly similar. Brueghel, active in Rome until the mid- 1670s, subsequently moved to Naples where he influenced the Recco and the Ruoppolo families of painters.
An alternative attribution to Giuseppe Ruoppolo has been suggested (for example, see the Still life of fruit in ibid., II, p. 923, no. 1115).