Feasting with Old Masters
Feasting with Old Masters: from the pantry to the country fair
The Galerie Canesso invites you to explore some colourful compositions that will tickle your tastebuds.
Our current display will have you eating with your eyes as you gaze at still life paintings of fruits, fish, shellfish, poultry, and more... a feast of earthly nourishment.
The first guest is Giovanni Andrea Donducci, known as Il Mastelletta, whose canvas shows us fishermen preparing a picnic by the river’s edge for elegant members of the Bolognese nobility.
Humanity also makes its presence in pictures by Giacomo Liegi and Nicolò Cassana. In the scene by Liegi, a Flemish artist resident in Genoa, a man has come to pick up some seafood in a spacious pantry which also contains fruit and poultry. The lively brushwork of the second composition, by the Genoese painter Cassana, describes a magnificent cook busily plucking poultry, with a splendid turkey and a duck rounding off the scene.
Within the still life genre, the Lombard School is well represented by Panfilo Nuvolone, Fede Galizia and Giuseppe Artioli.
Nuvolone’s composition, an expansive still life painted between 1625 and 1628, can be interpreted as a vanitas painting, with a variety of objects symbolising the three stages of human existence.
The small-scale still life by Fede Galizia reveals a rare level of maestria and painterly quality, and speaks to us with a quiet note of poetic restraint.
Next come two delicate, small compositions by Giuseppe Artioli, active in Mantua in the 1700s. Sober and almost photographic in quality, these are painted in encaustic, a technique revived after the excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii in the second half of the eighteenth century.
One cannot imagine Naples without thinking of stalls in a fish market – the kind painted by Giuseppe Recco, whose Cod and Herring in a Basket, with Spider Crab on a Stone Shelf makes a powerful visual impact, its elegant arrangement of seafood displayed with a remarkable, almost monochrome palette.
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