This hitherto unpublished picture is an important addition to a group of still lifes formerly attributed to Juan van der Hamen. Other examples are in the Currier Gallery of Art (Manchester, New Hampshire; see H.E. Wethey, 'Spanish Painting at Indianapolis and Providence', Burlington Magazine, CV, no. 722, May 1963, p. 208, fig. 23, as Juan van der Hamen), The Ringling Museum of Art (Sarasota, Florida; see A.F. Janson, Great Paintings from the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, New York, 1986, p. 106, no. 26, illustrated, as Cristoforo Munari), and in a private collection (see A. Geddo, Evaristo Baschenis, Milano, 1965, pl. V, as Baschenis).
Six years after the publication of Geddo's monograph on Baschenis, the pictures in the Ringling Museum and The Currier Gallery of Art were included by Ramn Torres Martin in La naturaleza muerta en la pintura espaola (Barcelona, 1971, pp. 118-119, nos. 18-19) as 'attributed to Baschenis'. However, in the most recent exhibition on Baschenis, a smaller version of the picture (private collection) was published by Enrico De Pascale. Although he acknowledged that the pictures are not by Baschenis, he chose to keep the attribution until the hand of the artist could be identified (catalogue of the exhibition, Evaristo Baschenis e la natura morta in Europa, Bergamo, Galleria d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, 4 October 1996 - 12 January 1997, p. 138, no. 3, illustrated, as Evaristo Baschenis?, '[un attribuzione] se non in qualit di artefice come il riferimento pi prossimo cui ancorare il dipinto nella prospettiva di futuri approfondimenti'). Alessandro Morandotti had already excluded the group of pictures from Baschenis' oeuvre on stylistic grounds (in F. Zeri, La Natura Morta in Italia, Milano, 1989, I, p. 267). He pointed out that their subtle tonality is entirely different from the rich colour scheme used by Baschenis and that furthermore there is no indication of the Flemish influence so important to the development of Lombard painting.
Spanish art historians believe the picture to be by the hand of a Spanish artist, although the attribution to Van der Hamen is no longer accepted. Certainly, the austere quality of both colouring and composition, with flowers, fruits and earthenware on the simple grey ledge, are characteristic of Spanish still lifes. The juxtaposition of the bowls on wooden boxes is reminiscent of still lifes by Van der Hamen and his circle. The simplicity of the row of greyish plates recurring in each of the pictures mentioned above, is an extraordinary exercise in perspective and seems to affirm that the work is of Spanish origin.