Espinosa, 1645, A bouquet of flowers in a conch shell, with nuts and figs, surrounded by a wreath of flowers and fruit



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English: A bouquet of flowers in a conch shell, with nuts and figs, surrounded by a wreath of flowers and fruit

circa 1645(1645)

English: Oil on Canvas

Height: 80 cm (31.5 in). Width: 61 cm (24 in).

Private collection


Auction sale of Christie's New York: 29. January 1998.
In this unusual painting, the artist has represented an octagonal framed painting of a still-life with flowers within a rustic garland of fruit and flowers. The picture is a witty trompe-l'oeil that delights the viewer with its play on the idea of the ""imitation of nature"", an idea that in the 17th century constituted the very raison d'etre of still-life painting. In the well-known story of the ancient painter Zeuxis - whose painted grapes were so realistic that birds tried to eat them - the pictorial values of illusionism and naturalism were linked together from the very beginnings of the genre in classical antiquity. This painting was also probably directly inspired by the precedent of Zeuxis's grapes.

The painting within the painting represents one of Espinosa's own small still-lifes. This is the painting that is signed by the artist, who painted a number of other still-lifes in which a shell acts as a vase for flowers.


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EXIF data:
File name espinosa__1645__a_bouquet_of_flowers_in_a_conch_shell__with_nuts_and_figs__surrounded_by_a_wreath_of_flowers_and_fruit.jpg
Size, Mbytes 0.1558740234375
Mime type image/jpeg

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