Still Life Flower Jug – Giuseppe Recco (1634-1695)
Giuseppe Recco (Naples 1634-Alicante 1695) Jug of Flowers
Entirely unpublished and of illustrious Neapolitan provenance, the painting presented here constitutes an important addition to Giuseppe Recco’s catalog and more precisely to the first decades of his long and brilliant career.
Protagonist of the most original and happy season of Neapolitan still life, Giuseppe Recco was undoubtedly trained within his family of origin, that of Giacomo and Giovan Battista Recco, in one of the most successful workshops of the early seventeenth century. Having learned his father’s lesson, he continues his path that brings him into contact both with the Caravaggesque lesson, imported from Rome by Neapolitan exponents such as Porpora, and with Flemish (Abraham Bruegel) and French (Monnoyer and Baudesson) florists: his desire to explore and get to know him will lead him to be one of the most complete personalities among still life painters in Italy.
As for the chapter of the vase of flowers, there are not many compositions with this theme in the work of Giuseppe Recco, many belong to the first decades of his career; although starting from a known system (a metal vase with masks or a glass vase isolated on a narrow stone base) the way of composing is strongly characterized and distinct: moving away from the vision of raging Baroque grandiloquence and demonstrating great compositional originality it prefers a more content and balanced organization of the bouquet. In spite of the impression and multiplication, in spite of the gigantism of the baroque bouquet, the Giuseppe flower is free to follow the natural development of the stem. The entire scaffolding of the painting is shocked, both from the outside (jagged perimeter) and from the inside, in a natural scattering of the stems imprisoned in the narrow neck of the vase. It is with Giuseppe that the flower in Italy acquires its characteristics of full and original maturity.
In our painting the glass vase, which rests on the bare stone against the dark background, is hit by a light coming from the left that highlights the flowers against the light. On the top stand two tulips, one red and one mottled, which force the viewer to look up to see an isolated branch of bluebells that seems to escape from the vase. The initials Ge. R. with whom Giuseppe Recco has signed some of his works can be clearly read on the stone.
cm 96 x 70
The painting is accompanied by the expertise of prof. Alberto Cottino.
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