Porpora trained in the workshop of Giacomo Recco, and was certainly acquinted with Otto Marseus van Schrieck. He moved to Rome after his marriage in 1654 and spent much of the rest of his career there having turned his focus from forest floors to still lifes of flowers and fruits. As Luigi Salerno writes in his seminal Natura Morta in Italiana, even when in Rome, Porpora never lost his 'feeling for the materials rendered with an intensity of colour, a density, and a tactile feeling for form typical of Neapolitan sensibility.'1 Salerno published one particularly close comparable sottobosco from a private collection that features foliage, a coiled snake lunging at a butterfly, lizards and snails, that also demonstrates Porpora's technique of portraying the mossy floor using stippling with the end of his brush – clearly visible here.2
1 L. Salerno, Natura morta in Italiana, Rome 1984, p. 202.
2 Salerno 1984, p. 206, fig. 50.5.
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