- Tomás Hiepes
- Still life with a Guitar
indistinctly signed and dated lower left
- oil on canvas
Tomás Hiepes was the dominant figure in the development of still life painting in Valencia in the 17th century. In October 1616 he was admitted to the Colegio de Pintores in Valencia, and although we have little more information about his life, his paintings deeply affected the work of other artists in and around Valencia. Writing in 1656, the local chronicler Marco Antonio Orti described him as '..the painter who in this line of the imitation of fruits has succeeded in acquiring a very singular fame and reputation', while in his Vida de los pintores, arquitectos, escueltores y grabadores valencianos, Marcos Antonio de Orellana (1731-1813) wrote: 'His flowers are subtle, translucent and light, his fruits very natural and everything done with admirable perfection. His paintings are equally copious as they are esteemed and celebrated, and one does not see baskets with fruit, flowers etc.,...and other similar things which are well executed in conformity with the real things, without thinking and esteeming them to be works by Yepes'.
The present work is one of the artist's most complex which utilizes a terraced composition, thus allowing Hiepes to include an abundance of still life elements. The picture may also be an allusion to the transience of life, as he includes numerous worldly objects, but also a dying candle and an hourglass.
We are grateful to William Jordan for confirming the attribution of the present work to Hiepes, based on first hand inspection.