17th Century Italian Baroque Still Lifes Pendant with Brocade by Noletti Francesco Follower
An unpublished pair of antique Italian Roman still lifes in pendant by a follower of Francesco Noletti called Maltese, Malta circa 1611 circa – Rome 1654, known as Francesco Fieravino, dating back to the third quarter of 17th century, in good age related condition.
A still life with brocade carpet, curtain, ewers, vases and golden statue and a still life depicting armour parts, plumbed helmet, weapons, golden statue and clock with brocade carpet and curtain.
These 17th century Italian Baroque oil on canvas still life paintings depict an abundance of precious silver and gilt embossed ewers and vases and a composition of finely engraved armour parts, plumbed helmet, weapons, golden statue and clock with lion set on architectural bases draped with brocades, set with apparent disorder. The background of both paintings depicts a soft brocade curtain.
The Baroque still life becomes one of the most requested subjects by collectors in the Roman context, very influenced by naturalistic imprint and chiaro scuro light by Caravaggio. The composition is purely decorative with excellent formal balance, rich of illusionistic expedients in order to amaze; there are also traces of the vanitas such as the cracks in the architectural bases, the clock, the jug and the overturned goblet, all signs of time passing. The classical gilded statuettes, the table clock with gilded lion, inspired by the Karl-Schmidt automaton table clock, all luxury elements reflecting the status of collectors and above all they are favorite collectables of Roman collecting in the second half of the 17th century.
For the most intense lights the Author uses thin filaments of material thickened color, to accentuate the mimesis of the relief. This technique, shared by many Masters in carpet still life sub genre, is extended to the description of brocade, in which the gold and silver threads are in relief, creating a bas-relief effect compared to the silk or velvet background. The Artist emphasizes the effects of light intercepted by metal materials enhances its precious connotation, and particularly indulges in the arrangement of the silver and gold threads to design the decorations, varying the intensity and chiaroscuro in relation to the light highlighted by the large folds of the fabrics.
Francesco Maltese, painter of vases, instruments, carpets, still-lifes is one of the most enigmatic figures of mid-seventeenth-century still-life painting in Rome. Held by many to be a pivotal figure in the genre of the carpet still-life, his real identity was incongruously concealed for centuries behind the generic nickname of il Maltese (pointing to Malta as his country of origin) or, even worse, the fantasy appellative Fieravino.
Thanks to Keith Sciberras, his true identity has now been clarified and Francesco Maltese emerges as Francesco Noletti (c.1611-1654)1, an artist who died in his early forties as “a celebrated painter”in Rome. By the late 1640s, his status as a major still-life painter was unquestioned, painting for the echelon of Roman society and collaborating with famous history painters.
The iconographic influence of the works of Francesco Noletti can be found in the Omnis Salus in Ferro Est engraved by J. Coelemans in the Recueil d’estampes d’apres les tableaux des peintres les plus célebres d’Italie, des Pays-Bas et de France.
Still Life with a Silver Ewer, a Turkish Carpet and a Painting of the Holy Family, c. 1650 at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum.
Still Life with a Silver Ewer, a Turkish Carpet at the Musée Départmental de l’Oise di Beauvais.
Still life with Turkish Carpet, Armor, Tableware and Gloves in a private collection.
Good age related condition, set in modern golden frames, relined, restored with minor paintings retouches. Coming from a private collection of Milan.
Canvas only measures 97 cm of height by 133,5 cm width.
- F. Zeri, F. Porzio La Natura Morta in Italia, Electa, Milano 1989, 2 vol. pag. 728/851.
- Keith Sciberras, Francesco Noletti detto il Maltese. L’identità rivelata di Francesco Fieravino, in i pittori di natura morta a Roma. Artisti italiani 1630-1750, a cura di G.Bocchi, U.Bocchi, Viadana 2005, pag. 357-380.
- Keith Sciberras, Three paintings by Francesco Nolettiat the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum; J.L.Merino Gorospe, Analytical and stylistic study for an approach to this technique, in Bulletin of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museums, n.4, 2009, pag 129-194.
- G.Bocchi, U.Bocchi, Carlo Manieri, pittore a Roma nella seconda metà del Seicento: nuove acquisiszioni e definitive conferme, in Parma per l’arte, n.s. anno XXIII,2016 pag 239-314.
- G.Bocchi, Per un’identificazione di Benedetto Fioravanti, pittore di natura morta a Roma, in Parma per l’arte, n.s. anno XXIV, 2018 pag 193-216.
- K.Sciberras Francesco Noletti. The Grand Roman Baroque Still Life. Midsea Book, Malta 2018.
- L.Fiorentino Corneils de Bie, il Gulden Cabinet e la pittura di natura morta e di genere in Italia, in Venezia Arti, n.s. 2 Vol. 29 Dicembre 2020 pag.65-87.
height: 97 (109) cm
width: 133,5 (146) cm
depth: 6 cm