Naples, active in the second half of the 18th century
Garden with architectural hedges and still life with flowers and fruit scattered on the ground in a ‘rustic’ arrangement
oil on canvas, 46×97 cm
While these examples of extraordinary freshness of the pastoral and sylvan taste appreciative of life in villas and a tamed and gracious nature, typical of the Eighteenth century, had been attributed to Gaspare Lopez at the moment they arrived at our venue, they are on the contrary certainly the work of his colleague and fellow townsman Francesco Lavagna. The figure of this flower painter, on whom little is known – he was certainly a relative of Giuseppe Lavagna, another flower painter active in the city – is known due to the appearance of a number of signed works in the market.
The pictorial style and composition are not dissimilar to those of Lopez, but as compared to the paintings usually attributed to the pupil of Andrea Belvedere, this pendant may be distinguished by certain habits in the choice and arrangement of the objects characteristic of him, and which may be found precisely in the signed paintings, as the one which appeared in the antiquity market in 1981 (see La natura morta in Italia, 1989, 2 volumes, II, no. 27, p. 946).
Another characteristic of this flower painting, moreover, is the markedly horizontal format of this pair of still lives, as well as the style, more detailed than that of the older master.