View full screen - View 1 of Lot 49. PANFILO NUVOLONE | STILL LIFE WITH GRAPES, PEACHES, AND PEARS ON A PEWTER TAZZA, WITH A SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE REFLECTION.
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PANFILO NUVOLONE | STILL LIFE WITH GRAPES, PEACHES, AND PEARS ON A PEWTER TAZZA, WITH A SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE REFLECTION

PANFILO NUVOLONE | STILL LIFE WITH GRAPES, PEACHES, AND PEARS ON A PEWTER TAZZA, WITH A SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE REFLECTION

PANFILO NUVOLONE | STILL LIFE WITH GRAPES, PEACHES, AND PEARS ON A PEWTER TAZZA, WITH A SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE REFLECTION

PANFILO NUVOLONE

Cremona 1581 - 1651 Milan

STILL LIFE WITH GRAPES, PEACHES, AND PEARS ON A PEWTER TAZZA, WITH A SELF-PORTRAIT IN THE REFLECTION


signed and dated lower left: PANPHILVS . NVVOLONUS. / CREM. F.A. 1617.

oil on panel

14¼ by 17½ in.; 36.2 by 44.5 cm.


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To request a condition report for this lot, please contact Isabel.Richards@sothebys.com.

With Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, by 1962;

With Rapps Konsthandel, Stockholm;

Anonymous sale, Stockholm, Auktionsverk, 7 June 2016, lot 2197;

There acquired.

G. de Logu, Natura morta italiana, Bergamo 1962, pp. 28, 163, reproduced pl. 11;

A. Morandotti in F. Zeri (ed.), La Natura Morta in Italia, Milan 1989, vol. 1, p. 226;

F.M. Ferro, Nuvolone: una famiglia di pittori nella Milano del '600, Soncino 2003, p. 165, under cat. no. p23.

Requested for Trent, Castello del Buonconsiglio, Fede Galizia, July - October 2020.

Born in Cremona, Panfilo Nuvolone is documented in Milan from 1610, working in the Lombard capital during the lush artistic environment fostered by its archbishop, Cardinal Federico Borromeo. Under Borromeo, the arts and sciences of all genres flourished, and still life was championed by the female artist Fede Galizia. Nuvolone’s tactile compositions bear the influence of Fede, and his works are often mistaken for those of the female artist. Nuvolone's inclusion of a miniature self portrait, visible in the reflection on the base of the tazza, acts as an additional signature and shows his relationship to the subject matter of this painting.


The tazza filled with fruits at first appears to communicate abundance and beauty, but closer inspection reveals a theme of vanitas. The peach at the lower right of the tazza has started to rot, indicating the passage of time and inevitability of death. The wasps buzzing about the fruit and eating a fallen grape at lower left are also symbols of ephermerality and decay. The fruits themselves are full of Christian symbolism: peaches and pears often stood in for forbidden fruits of temptation, and grapes relate to Eucharistic wine, or the blood of Christ. Peaches are also metaphors for the Christian self: the pit, like the spirit, is hard and resists temptation, while the flesh is soft and easily corruptible.


The present lot has been requsted for a monographic exhibition on Nuvolone's predecessor, Fede Galizia, held at the Castello del Buonconsiglio, Trent, July - October 2020.