This luminous and warm still life was painted by the Lucchese artist Simone del Tintore in the second half of the seventeenth century. The composition is a reduced variant of Simone's monogrammed painting in the Castello Sforzesco, Milan, which is one of a pair and was originally thought to be by the Roman-based Tommaso Salini due to the monogram 'ST' woven into the basket.1 As early as 1960, however, thanks to stylistic comparison with a still life in a private collection which has an eighteenth-century inscription on the reverse of the canvas, Mina Gregori identified the works as by Simone del Tintore, Pietro Paolini's most gifted pupil. The close similarities between his style and that of Bernardo Strozzi is thought to be due to Paolini's influence, who may well have met Strozzi in Rome.
1. Oil on canvas, 72 by 133 cm.; see F. Paliaga in M. Gregori (ed.), Natura morta italiana, exhibition catalogue, Rome 2002, pp. 314-15, reproduced in colour.
2. See F. Zeri, La natura morta in Italia, Milan 1989, vol. II, p. 559, reproduced in colour p. 561, cat. no. 664.