CRISTOFORO MUNARI | STILL LIFE WITH PORCELAIN CUPS AND A FAÇON DE VENISE GLASS ON A SALVER, WITH A GLASS WINE EWER, PEELED LEMON AND APRICOTS, BEFORE A PLINTH WITH A VIOLONCELLO, RECORDER, AND MUSICAL SCORES
This lot has been withdrawn
Property from Robilant Fine Art, London, Milan & St. Moritz
Reggio Emilia 1667-1720 Pisa
STILL LIFE WITH PORCELAIN CUPS AND A FAÇON DE VENISE GLASS ON A SALVER, WITH A GLASS WINE EWER, PEELED LEMON AND APRICOTS, BEFORE A PLINTH WITH A VIOLONCELLO, RECORDER, AND MUSICAL SCORES
oil on canvas
unframed: 98 x 74.6 cm.; 38⅝ x 29⅜ in.
framed: 114.5 x 92 cm.; 45⅛ x 36¼ in.
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The canvas is lined, the paint surface is clean, and the varnish is clear and even. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals two campaigns of retouching, both of which are comprised mainly of small spots scattered largely through the upper half of the painting. More notable areas include some more recent retouching to a vertical line above the teacup measuring approx. 10 cm.; along the lower margin; retouching to the sky above the bridge of the cello at its widest point 13 x 13 cm.; and some smaller, more concentrated patches in both upper corners. The painting nevertheless presents extremely well and the details are well preserved.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
D. Lorenzo Pellerano;
His sale, Buenos Aires, J.C. Naon, 27 August 1938, lot 350;
Anonymous sale (‘The Property of a Private Collector’), New York, Christie’s, 25 January 2002, lot 41, for $120,000.
"There are so many different influences vying for competition in this beautiful picture. The Dutch still-life tradition permeates the scene, but so too does the north Italian interest in portraying contrasting textures. The overriding source, for me, is the Bergamasque tradition of celebrating the beauty of musical instruments. How fitting then that the dominant feature of the painting should be a 'cello, which bears down on the more intricate elements below it."
This luxuriant still life is typical of Munari’s work in its realistic treatment of materials, juxtaposition of surface textures and the observation of fine detail. The present work exemplifies Munari’s facility for depicting the subtle effect of light on a variety of objects, from the transparency of the ewer and intricate wineglass filled with liquid, to the reflection of the delicate porcelain on the metallic salver, to the flesh of the whole and partial fruits, and finally to the solid carving of the wooden musical instruments. The same cello and recorder may be found in the Still life with musical instruments in the Uffizi, Florence,1 suggesting that the artist may have owned these himself. Likewise the cup atop the upturned saucer recurs in two other paintings,2 and the ewer of wine appears in another work, in a private collection, Bergamo.3 Munari’s concern for the vivid interplay of these richly-coloured, exotic articles, is suggestive of the influence of the great Dutch still-life painter Jan Davidsz. de Heem and the German artist Christian Berentz, who was also working in Rome in the early 18th century.
Munari began his career in his native city as a protégé of Rinaldo d’Este, Duke of Modena, before travelling to Rome in 1703, where he found patronage among the leading aristocratic families. By 1706 he had moved to Florence and there completed commissions for Ferdinand de' Medici, Cosimo III, and Cardinal Francesco Maria de’ Medici.
We are grateful to Dott.ssa Francesca Baldassari for endorsing the attribution to Munari on the basis of a digital image.
2 One in a private collection, Modena, the other in the Museo Civico di Palazzo Bianco, Genoa: http://catalogo.fondazionezeri.unibo.it/entry/work/89544/Munari%20Cristoforo%2C%