Still life with a silver ewer, a Turkish carpet and a painting of the Holy Family - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Still life with a silver ewer, a Turkish carpet and a painting of the Holy Family

Noletti, Francesco, "Il Maltese"

Valletta?, c. 1611-Rome, 1654


124 x 173,6 cm

c. 1650

17th century. Middle


Donated by Antonio Plasencia, 1935

The Still Life with a Silver Ewer, a Turkish Carpet and a Painting of the Holy Family is another ostentatious and spectacular work which, in both invention and handling of pigment, shows the qualities of sumptuousness that made Noletti one of the most famous painters of the genre. Set against a tapestry background revealed through an open curtain, a platter of frosted fruit, a vase with flowers and an embroidered cloth are arranged on a table top covered by a large Turkish carpet. The table top cuts the composition horizontally in two, whilst the carpet falls to reveal its intricate pattern and dominate the picture.

A small painting of the Holy Family in a gilt frame, beautifully rendered in thick impasto, is arranged obliquely at the right, whilst a silver ewer is placed in front of it. The painting has a blond light that radiates through the gilt frame of the Holy Family painting, the gold trimmings of the drapery, the gilt flower vase, and the texture of the frosted fruit. This finds parallel chromatic richness in the carpet pattern, the embroidered cloth, and the bellowing curtain. It is difficult not to reiterate that this painting was intended for a niche Roman market, with the choice of objects displaying both refinement and ostentation in taste. The painting of the Holy Family represented within the picture is of typical mid-seventeenth century Roman extraction, as also is its intricately carved frame with a double line of scallop shell motifs. The ewer is similarly a fine example of seventeenth century craftsmanship. (Keith Sciberras)

Selected bibliography

  • Catálogo de las obras que figuran en la exposición de pintura retrospectiva organizada por la Sociedad de Empresas Artísticas en el edificio de la Sociedad Filarmónica de Bilbao, mayo de 1904 [Cat. exp.]. Bilbao, Sociedad de Empresas Artísticas, 1904. p. 7, n° cat. 9. (Títulada ”Bodegón (Telas)” y atribuído a Pieter Boel)
  • Plasencia, Antonio. Catálogo de las obras de pintura y escultura del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao. Bilbao, Imprenta Provincial, 1932. p. 27, n° cat. 74. (Con el título Bodegón con flores, tapiz ..., y atribuido a Antonio de Pereda)
  • Gaya Nuño, Juan Antonio. Historia y guía de los Museos de España. Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1955. p. 164. (Con el título Bodegón de frutas sobre manta popular, y atribuido a Antonio de PEREDA).
  • Lasterra, Crisanto de. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : catálogo descriptivo : sección de arte antiguo. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 1969. p. 90, n° cat. 194. (Con el título Bodegón con flores y tapices, y atribuido a Antonio de PEREDA).
  • Torres Martín, Ramón. La naturaleza muerta en la pintura española. Barcelona, Seix y Barral, 1971. pp. 78, 162, lám. 62. (Con el título Bodegón con telas y cuadro, y atribuido a Antonio de PEREDA).
  • Bengoechea, Javier de. Museo de Bellas Artes, Bilbao. Bilbao, La Gran Enciclopedia Vasca, 1978. p. 173. (Atribuido a Antonio de Pereda)
  • Angulo Íñiguez, Diego ; Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso Emilio. Historia de la pintura española : escuela madrileña del segundo tercio del siglo XVII. Madrid, Instituto Diego Velázquez, 1983. p. 223. (Con el título Bodegón de flores y tapices y atribuído a Antonio de PEREDA).
  • Tesoros del Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : pintura, 1400-1939 [Cat. exp.]. Madrid, El Viso, 1989. pp. 68-69, n° cat. 18.
  • Bilbao a Genova : la cultura cambia le città [Cat. exp.]. Milano, Skira, 2003. pp. 92, 93, n° cat. 10. (Con el título Natura morta con fiori, tappeti e un quadro, y atribuido a Francesco Fieravino, detto Il Maltese)
  • Sciberras, Keith. "Francesco Nolettiren hiru koadro Bilboko Arte Eder Museoan= Tres cuadros de Francesco Noletti en el Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao = Three paintings by Francesco Noletti at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum", B'08 : Buletina = Boletín = Bulletin, n° 4. 2009. pp. 129-159.
  • Merino Gorospe, Jose Luis. "Francesco Noletti : Bere teknikara hurbiltzeko azterketa analitiko eta estilistikoa = Estudio analítico y estilístico para una aproximación a su técnica = Analytical and stylistic study for an approach to his technique", B'08 : Buletina = Boletín = Bulletin, n° 4. 2009. pp. 161-194.