View full screen - View 1 of Lot 29. Still life of flowers and grapes in an elaborate ceramic vase, with snails along the bottom ledge.
29

Juan de Espinosa

Still life of flowers and grapes in an elaborate ceramic vase, with snails along the bottom ledge

Estimate:

150,000 - 200,000 USD

American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion

Juan de Espinosa

Juan de Espinosa

Still life of flowers and grapes in an elaborate ceramic vase, with snails along the bottom ledge

Still life of flowers and grapes in an elaborate ceramic vase, with snails along the bottom ledge

Estimate:

150,000 - 200,000 USD

American Visionary: The Collection of Mrs. John L. Marion

Juan de Espinosa

Madrid circa 1605/10 – 1671 Zaragoza

Still life of flowers and grapes in an elaborate ceramic vase, with snails along the bottom ledge


oil on canvas

canvas: 31 ½ by 24 in.; 80 by 61 cm.

framed: 36 ¾ by 29 in.; 93.5 by 73.7 cm. 

The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's.


This work is generally in very good condition. The canvas has an old lining which is still stabilizing the paint layer. The surface has an attractive texture. The paint layer is clean and varnished. Retouches are clearly visible under ultraviolet light, mainly to small cracks in the lighter colors and slight weakness to the brown background around the elements of the still life throughout. There are some scuffs to the varnish around the edges which could easily be corrected, but the work should otherwise be hung in its current state.


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.

Anonymous sale, Lyon, Jean Claude Anaf, 8 February 1998, lot 152;
There acquired by Caylus, Madrid, and Rafael Valls Ltd., London;
With Mitchell-Innes & Nash, New York;
There acquired in March 2006.
P. Cherry, Arte y Naturaleza - El Bodegón Español en el Siglo de Oro, Madrid 1999, pp. 210, cat. no. 1, reproduced fig. LVII.
Burgos, Monasterio de San Juan, El Jardin de Melibea, April - June 2000, no. 124;
London, Rafael Valls Ltd., and Madrid, Caylus, Naturaleza Muertas Espanolas de los siglos XVII a XIX, 1 December 2003 - 13 February 2004, no. 14. 

Little is known of the rare and talented still life painter Juan de Espinosa, though it is generally thought that he was active in Madrid in the mid-seventeenth century, alongside artists such as Juan van der Hamen and Antonio Ponce. Espinosa has sometimes been confused with the painter Juan Bautista de Espinosa (c. 1585-1640), who was mostly a painter of altarpieces; Juan Bautista de Espinosa's signed and dated still life of 1624 was the likely source of this confusion.1 Juan de Espinosa's oeuvre, however, should be considered separately and has been traditionally based on two still lifes now in the Museo del Prado, the first depicting bunches of grapes, apples, and a ceramic vase on a ledge;2 the second, smaller panel depicting a bunch of grapes with a dead finch on a ledge.3 A painting in the Louvre, which includes many of these elements as well as a red vase similar to that in the present work, was the first signed painting by the artist to be discovered when it was given to the museum in 1973.4 These still lifes are generally dated to the 1630s, though some scholars have suggested the possibility of later dates as well. In the catalogue for the 1998 sale (see Provenance), the attribution of the present painting was confirmed by Bill Jordan.


The fanciful red earthenware vase in the Marion painting is most certainly from Tonalá, Mexico. These remarkable vases were imported into Europe in the early seventeenth century, particularly to Spain, and elaborate examples were incorporated into still lifes by artists including Antonio Pereda, Juan van der Hamen, and Antonio Ponce as well. 


1. Now in the Hilmar Reksten Foundation, Bergen, Norway. See W. B. Jordan, Spanish Still Life in the Golden Age, exhibition catalogue, Fort Worth 1985, cat. no. 9, reproduced p. 93. 

2. See https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/still-life-with-grapes-apples-and-plums/cf3b3737-df34-4c94-b221-146dad27c34e

3. See https://www.museodelprado.es/en/the-collection/art-work/still-life-with-dead-bird/8df7694f-5f23-41a1-a014-b4ca30f78575 

4. The signature has been effaced and unfortunately the date is unreadable, though it is likely that this is the same work which was sold by the Pereire Collection in Paris in 1868 as signed and dated 1645.  See Jordan 1985, pp. 169-70, and https://collections.louvre.fr/en/ark:/53355/cl010066164