Bartolomeo Bimbi (1648-1730) – Still life


Bartolomeo Bimbi (Settignano 1648-Firenze 1730)
Still life of flowers and fruits with a bird.

This beautiful canvas represents a gilded copper vase placed outside, on a rock, filled with flowers (roses, anemones, tulips, carnations…) which seem to quiver under a breath of wind. At the foot of the vase there are fruits: apricots, small pears, cedars and behind them two apples, plums, open pomegranates and a bunch of grapes on which a greedy bird has landed. In the background a landscape of trees, hills and waters.
The naturalism is lively and intense, attentive to the description of every detail, almost encyclopaedic: the refined detail of the flowers, the skins of the fruits, some damaged by worms, the droplets of dew deposited on the leaves.

Bartolomeo Bimbi was an Italian painter, pupil of Lorenzo Ippi and Mario de Fiori. He devoted himself to the genre of still life, representing all sorts of inanimate things, mainly in the service of Cosimo III de’ Medici and then of his daughter the Elector Palatine Anna Maria Luisa de’ Medici.
The subjects of his paintings are not limited to the only traditional subjects of flowers and fruits but represent “wonders of nature”, citrus fruits of all varieties, shells, the strangest plant and animal varieties. The Grand Duke’s aim was to catalog a wide variety of botanical species with pictorial means and in this almost scientific work Bimbi found himself in collaboration with Pier Antonio Micheli, court botanist.
For the grand ducal court, he also painted large canvases for the villas of Ambrogiana and Topaia. Bimbi was also the author of the Medici Citrus collection. An important nucleus of about 30 of his works is still preserved today in the botanical section of the Natural History Museum of the University of Florence. Many of his works are in the Museum of Still Life, on the second and top floor of the Villa Medici in Poggio a Caiano, along with those of other painters of the same period.

The painting has been recognized and appraised by prof. Alberto Cottino, art historian and one of the most renowned naturamortists in Italy and Europe.

The painting has a 17th century Florentine cassetta frame in lacquer and gold.

It is accompanied by the expertise of prof. Cottino.


Canvas cm 63.5 x 90
Frame cm 90 x 116

Bibliography: Bartolomeo Bimbi: un pittore di piante e animali alla corte dei Medici-Sovrintendenza per i beni artistici e culturali di Firenze- catalogo delle opere conservate al Museo della Natura morta di Poggio a Caiano

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