Still life with vegetables and fruit from late summer



Settignano, 1648 – Florence, 1729

Still life with late summer fruits and vegetables

oil on canvas, cm 74×98


This splendid canvas depicts a still life with ripe pumpkins, freshly harvested grapes still coated in dew, a broken pomegranate, mushrooms in the basket and a large celery plant. These are late summer fruits and vegetables, depicted with such an extraordinary painterly quality to allow Mina Gregori to formulate the attribution to Bartolomeo Bimbi, probably the most important Florentine still life painter of his generation.

Bimbi was active in Florence over a long period and specifically at the Medici court. Fot them he painted allegorical still life canvases meant to be celebrations of the family. His method of conceiving the image is extraordinary, bringing together the typically Florentine taste for naturalism and a baroque decorativism with a clear Roman flavour, as shown here by the crumpled leaf in the foreground, which almost evokes Caravaggio. This is a typical work of the Tuscan painter, and can be dated in a phase close to the great still lives with pumpkins made for the Medici between the first and second decade of the eighteenth century.