Lot 143
  • 143

Tomás Hiepes

60,000 - 80,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Tomás Hiepes
  • Still life with fruit in a porcelain bowl flanked by a pair of glass vases
  • oil on canvas


With José Antonio Torres, Barcelona;
Acquired from the above by the father of the present owner in 1952 for 9m pesetas.

Catalogue Note

An obsession with symmetry, a remarkable delicacy in the handling of his brush, and the choice of rare and unusual vessels are the characteristics that govern each and every one of Tomás Hiepes’ tabletop still lifes. The deep blue and white Delft porcelain bowl was a favourite prop for such works and it features in a large number of them, almost without exception as their centrepiece. Its cool tones and smooth surface provided the perfect counterpoint to the richly coloured and textured manzanas and peras that are stacked high within it. The bowl, or one very similar, can be seen again, for example, in the slightly larger composition in the Naseiro collection, Madrid.1  In the Naseiro picture the bowl is flanked on either side by a pair of ceramic urns, whereas here Hiepes has chosen two different examples of elaborate glassware and he has indeed been so bold as to paint a small fish circling the waters of the one of them. It is in the juxtaposition of these delicately painted vessels, constructed with little more than a thin line of white paint, with the solidity of the fruit and bowl where this composition is at its most successful and unique.

We are grateful to Dr. William B. Jordan for endorsing the attribution to Hiepes on the basis of photographs.


1. P. Cherry, Arte y Naturaleza, Madrid 1999, reproduced plate XCIX.