Still life with a Turkish carpet and a putto holding a garland of fruit - Bilbao Fine Arts Museum

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Still life with a Turkish carpet and a putto holding a garland of fruit

Noletti, Francesco, "Il Maltese"

Valletta?, c. 1611-Rome, 1654


124 x 173,5 cm

c. 1650

17th century. Middle


Donated by Antonio Plasencia, 1935

The Still Life with a Turkish Carpet and a Putto Holding a Garland of Fruit is especially exciting and fundamentally important because of the insertion of a winged putto holding a garland across the width of the painting. This is the first known picture incorporating a figure that can be safely inserted in his oeuvre.

The painting shows the still-life arrangement set on a rocky ledge, with the objects emerging in strong tonal contrast out of a dark background. Depth is thus restricted to the strongly modelled frontal plane, with the dark void suggesting a natural landscape context. Pomegranates and lemons are arranged on a Turkish carpet at left to counteract other pomegranates, figs, and grapes that fall out of a wicker basket and surround a copper pot on the other side. Their naturalistic rendering is exquisite and the artist tastefully differentiates the many representations of the same fruit through confident and spirited brushwork. The Turkish carpet is a fine specimen, having a large central field with an all-over pattern of stylised floral designs against a blue ground. Its border is wide and has complex motifs in blue, red and white grounds framed by thinner guard strips of geometric design. An element of undeniable charm is introduced by the putto who lifts the red ribbon end of a garland of flowers and fruit. The garland has an assortment of apples, grapes, figs, pears and berries, whilst red chilli pepper also makes an exotic appearance. (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. 8. (Títulada ”Bodegón (Frutas)” 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. 26, n° cat. 73. (Con el título Bodegón de frutas con un ángel, y atribuido a Antonio de Pereda)
  • Gaya Nuño, Juan Antonio. Historia y guía de los Museos de España. Madrid, Espasa Calpe, 1955. p. 164.
  • Lasterra, Crisanto de. Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao : catálogo descriptivo : sección de arte antiguo. Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 1969. p. 154, n° cat. 381. (Con el título Bodegón de frutas con un ángel, y atribuido a ANÓNIMO ITALIANO DEL SIGLO XVIII).
  • Torres Martín, Ramón. La naturaleza muerta en la pintura española. Barcelona, Seix y Barral, 1971. p. 78.
  • 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. pp. 223-224. (Con el título Bodegón de frutas con un ángel y atribuído a Antonio de PEREDA).
  • 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.
  • Mena Marqués, Manuela. ; Barba, Eduardo. Luis Paret y Alcázar, 1746-1799 : el triunfo del Amor sobre la Guerra : donación Alicia Koplowitz. Bilbao, Bilboko Arte Ederren Museoa-Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, 2018. p. 38, il.