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Vase of Flowers, Fruit, and Vegetables

Master of Hartford
(active in Rome first half of the 17th century)

Along with the Feathered Game and Owl, the painting came from the famous confiscation from Cavalier d’Arpino arranged by Scipione Borghese in 1607. The two canvases have also been thought to be by Caravaggio, but recent studies have noted in them the hand of the still unidentified artist referred to as the Master of Hartford because of a work attributed to him housed in that American city. The style of the painter, who worked with Caravaggio in Arpino’s studio, closely follows that of his famous colleague (the dark background, the oblique light, the wicker basket, the precise execution of the various floral, vegetal, and animal elements), for whom he has often been mistaken. The presence of the two paintings on the list of the confiscated works means that they had certainly been executed by 4 May 1607. Depicted in the middle of the composition, the lizards allude to the underlying moralistic aim of the work. In effect, their composure is acknowledged as positive, capable of bringing people back onto the straight and narrow if they. get distracted.

Object Details

Medium | oil on canvas, cm 105 x 184

Inventory | 54

Location | Room 2 – David Room

Period | '600

Classification | painting

Work not currently on display
Painting on loan for the exhibition "Caravaggio. La verità dell'arte" (Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art (Sapporo) 7/08/2019 - 14/10/2019; Nagoya City Art Museum (Nagoya) 26/10/2019 - 15/12/2019; Abeno Harukas Museum (Osaka) 26/12/2019 - 24/02/2020). Replaced with Tommaso Campana, "Landscape with animals"


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