The pendant to this picture is the following lot.
As Dr. William B. Jordan and Dr. Peter Cherry point out in the 1995 exhibition catalogue (Spanish Still Life from Velázquez to Goya, London, the National Gallery, 1995, p. 118) Tomás Hiepes (or Yepes) was unquestionably the dominant figure in the development of still-life painting in Valencia in the 1640s. As in Seville, still-life painting did not begin to flourish there until the 1640s, and once it did the products of the school were distinguished by a distinctive, yet somewhat archaic style, which reflected a different way of life from that in the capital. Jordan and Cherry point out that Hiepes created still lifes of a strongly individual character that deeply affected the work of other artists in and around Valencia.
Little factual information about the artist exists but a reference to one of his fruteros by the local chronicler Marco Antonio Ortí hints at his reputation: 'There were many pictures in which many kinds of fruits were painted, all children of the brush and hand of Yepes, the painter who, in this line of the imitation of fruits has succeeded in acquiring a very singular fame and reputation ' (see ibid.). Marcos Antonio Orellana, the biographer of Valencian painters, writes 'His flowers are subtle, translucent with light, his fruits very natural and everything done with admirable perfection. His paintings are equally copious as they are esteemed and celebrated' (Biografía pictórica valenciana o Vida de los pintores, arquitectos, escultores y grabadores valenciano , ed. X. de Salas, 2nd ed., Valencia, 1967, pp. 221-2).
The 1995 exhibition in Valencia Tomás Yepes showed that not only was his output prolific, but also that the range of his subject matter was extremely broad and included game pieces, kitchen still lifes, still lifes in landscapes and garden pieces. In his catalogue entry for the 1997 exhibition An Eye on Nature at the Matthiesen Gallery, London, Jordan sums up Hiepes's undoubted appeal: 'at their best, his works are brimming with an irresistible provincial charm and a delightful inventiveness suggestive of the sybaritic life of this prosperous Mediterranean seaport, agricultural and manufacturing centre.'
Exactly the same vase seems to have been depicted in Hiepes' Still life signed and dated (in the same way as the present picture) 1664, a year after the present lot, and now in a private collection, Madrid (see A. Pérez Sánchez, La Nature Morte Espagnole du XVIIe siècle à Goya, Fribourg, 1987, p. 152, pl. 156).
Dr. Peter Cherry has confirmed the attribution on the basis of photographs.