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Tornabuoni Arte

D069a
PETER CASTEELS also known as PIETER KASTEELS III
Flower vases
Antwerp 1684-Richmond 1749
Oil on canvas
cm. 77x64


As pointed out by Giancarlo Sestieri, the light is one of the fundamental elements of this couple of paintings: a bright, clear, grazing light that animates these splendid flower compositions, with a striking scenic effect. The vases, placed on table tops in marble or stone, are almost completely concealed by the colorful exuberance of flowers of various kinds: roses, carnations, tulips, gentians, hyacinths, daffodils. On one of the two surfaces a gracious butterfly, representing a typical inclusion of live nature, frequent in Flemish still life painting, is visible. In his expertise Sestieri retraces the two works to the Flemish painter Peter Casteels, the most representative figure of a dynasty of painters from Antwerp, a specialist who, in addition to painting flowers, dedicated himself to images of birds of every kind. Between 1712 and 1715 Casteels became master of the corporation of St. Lucas; he later moved to London where he dedicated himself to flower painting, realizing works in which the wicker basket and the precious vase, filled with an abundance of flowers opening in a fan formation, seen somewhat from below, were his typical and most frequent motifs (Dipinti italiani ed europei del XVII e XVIII secolo, catalogue of the exhibition curated by G. Sestieri, Roma, 2000, p. 84). The same expert also reminds of the distinction between the three styles that have since time been recognized in the artistic evolution of Casteels, one influenced by J. van Huysum, another by G.P. Verbruggen, and the third, more personal one that is the best, and to which one may attribute this high-quality pendant, that may thus be dated to the third or fourth decade of the 18th century.



Tornabuoni Arte