10 Sumptuous Old Master Still Lifes Inspired by Caravaggio

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During the 16th and early 17th century, Caravaggio invigorated still life painting across Italy with a degree of naturalism and detail never before seen, creating lustrously life-like fruits and flowers arranged in dynamic, considered compositions. So powerful was mercurial artist’s influence that an entire generation of artists throughout Italy and Europe came to be called the Caravaggisti. A visual feast of such still lifes are offered at no reserve in Sotheby’s upcoming auction Master Paintings (22 May, New York). For the stories behind ten of these works, click ahead.

Master Paintings
22 May | New York

10 Sumptuous Old Master Still Lifes Inspired by Caravaggio

  • Neapolitan School, first half of the 17th century, attributed to Giacomo Recco, Still Life of Flowers in a Carafe, a Copper Basin with Glasses and Carafe, Fruit, Taralli and a Glass Bottle. Estimate $80,000–120,000.
    This beautifully arranged still life incorporates flowers, fruit and even a reflection of the artist. Though certainly by an accomplished hand, definitive attribution of this harmonious still life has so far eluded scholars. It has been tenatively attributed to Giuseppe de Vito – the first Neapolitan still life painter to specialize in floral subjects. 



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Fede Galizia, Still Life of Peaches, Jasmine, and a Spray of Hyacinth in a Metal Fruit Stand, with Tulips and Hazelnuts in the hull, all on a stone ledge. Estimate $100,000–150,000.
    This serene still life is the work of pioneering female painter Fede Galizia, an artist who played a fundamental role in the emergence of the genre in Italy and Europe in the early 17th century. She is best known for her remarkable still lifes, which, as exemplified by the present work, are naturalistic, subdued and contemplative. 



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Bartolomeo Cavarozzi, formerly known as the Master of the Acquavella, Basket of Fruit on a stone ledge. Estimate $200,000–300,000.
    This work is an evocative example of the first generation of Roman still life painting and illustrates Caravaggio’s powerful influence over the genre during the period. Cavarozzi’s dramatic and realistic depictions owed much to the master’s pivotal Basket of Fruit (1599), now in Milan’s Biblioteca Ambrosia.



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Giuseppe Recco, Still Life of a Vase of Flowers and Sweets. Estimate $60,000–80,000.
    A spontaneous, playful energy suffuses this composition by the artist Giuseppe Recco – fruits and sweets are displayed simply on wrapping paper, as if just opened, while two blossoms rest on the ledge below a ravishing floral bouquet, as though just fallen or forgotten.



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Louise Moillon, Still Life of Peaches in a Bowl Standing on a Wooden Box on a Ledge, an Apricot Branch Resting on the foreground. Estimate $150,000–200,000.
    Louise Moillon is one of the very few women painters of 17th-century France whose reputation has endured over the centuries. Only about 75 paintings by the artist are known, and almost all are still lifes. In this quiet, elegant painting of peaches, the artist includes objects that reappear throughout her œuvre. A similar porcelain bowl, for example, can be found in her still life of cherries, now in the Louvre.  



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Pietro Paolo Bonzi, called Gobbo dei Frutti or Gobbo dei Carracci, Still Life With Grapes, Peaches, Pomegranates, Apples, Melon and Figs, all on a marble ledge. Estimate $100,000–150,000.
    This luscious still life undoubtedly ranks among the most magnificent works within the small corpus of Italian artist Pietro Paolo Bonzi. A student of landscape painter Giovanni Battista Viola and the Carracci brothers, Bonzi was unrivalled in Rome during his lifetime for his sumptuous depictions of fruit and flowers, seen here in this basin overflowing with grapes, pomegranates, apples and quinces. 



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Attributed to Tommaso Salini, called Mao, Still Life with Vegetables, Fish, Clams, and a Basket of Citrus Fruit, on a stone ledge. Estimate $50,000–70,000.
    This starkly lit still life of fish, clams and a basket of citrus fruit encapsulates the visual tradition prevalent in Rome in the early 17th century. With its heightened sense of realism and the dramatic balance of the effects of light and dark, this painting bears close stylistic similarities to a group of works ascribed to the hand of Tommaso Salini, an Italian artist known not only for his still lifes, genre paintings and religious scenes, but also as a witness in the lawsuit brought against Caravaggio by Giovanne Baglione.  



     



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo, Watermelon, Melon, Grapes, Apples, Pomegranates, Peaches, Figs and Quinces in a landscape. Estimate $60,000–80,000.
    During the second half of the 17th century, Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo numbered among the most important figures in Neapolitan still-life painting and his beautiful works were prized by the  aristocracy and wealthy collectors. The present work, dated to 1680, typifies the opulent majesty of his later works as a profusion of grapes, melons, peaches and other fruit are pictured within a mountainous landscape.  



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Agostino Verrocchio, Fruit on a stone ledge. Estimate $70,000–100,000.
    Little is known about the life of Agostino Verrocchio, a talented, albeit mysterious artist who worked in Rome and Naples during the first half of the 17th century. He was, however, of a generation of still-life painters who were directly impacted by Caravaggio's groundbreaking naturalism, here evinced by Verrocchio's commitment to detail and honest, observational approach to still-life painting.  



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

  • Panfilo Nuvolone, Still Life with a Raised Stand, Peaches, Figs, and a Pumpkin, all on a marble ledge. Estimate $80,000–120,000.
    Painted with exquisite sensitivity, this still life of peaches, figs and a pumpkin is among the most refined and detailed works by Panfilo Nuvolone. Golden and silvery tones resonant throughout the composition are offset by delicate touches of green, including a faint reflection of a green leaf on the left rim of the metal stand. 



     



    Master Paintings
    22 May | New York

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