Miguel Parra Abril was one of the most recognizable and important still-life painters of the Valencian school. His distinctive compositions have a certain sense of decadence: large blooms, weighing heavily on their stems, overflow from urns and hang in swags from classical sculptures and flowing water features. The artist developed his style at the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Carlos, where a specific sala
had been established by Charles III for floral painters to encourage designs for the textile industry that would rival those being produced in France.1
Parra, who was Vincent López’ brother-in-law, soon distinguished himself as a virtuosic flower painter and the exceptionally high quality of his work earned him the moniker of the “Vincent López of flowers.”2
We are grateful to William Jordan for endorsing the attribution of this and the following two lots after firsthand inspection.
1. For more on the career of Miguel Parra Abril, see M.J. López Terrada, "La pintura de flores de Miguel Parra (1780-1846),” inArchivo Español de Arte, LXXXVI, 342, April-June 2013, pp. 123-142.
2. William Jordan, private written communication with the department dated 12 September 2016.