Natura morta con cocomero e altri frutti


Rome, 1696 – 1738

oil on canvas, cm 77×63,5

Along with the watermelon and the melon, this pair of still lives features a rich variety of grapes, pomegranates, cherries, apples and other fruits, arranged in a natural setting. The vertical layout and the quite immediate and synthetic rendition of the fruit bring to mind Romany still life painting of the late Seventeenth century, in particular the compositions painted by the circle of artists with similar stylistic traits that counted, among its leading figures, Christian Berentz, Pietro Navarra, and Giovanni Paolo Castelli, also called Spadino (1659-1730).

The latter, the one of these three whose work most resembles these still lives, contributed to the diffusion of a figurative formula that enjoyed ample success, based on the display of impressive cascades of fruit placed on inclined surfaces, rendered in voluminous and vibrant brushstrokes. The same figurative formula, but with a less chromatically intense painting as compared to his father Giovanni Paolo, was followed by the latter’s son Bartolomeo Castelli (Rome 1696-1738), an artist who has been rediscovered by Ferdinando Bologna in 1985, whose stylistic characters closely resemble this painting, and who may be indicated as the probable author of our pendant.