Lot 38. Neapolitan School, first half of the 17th century, attributed to Giacomo Recco, Still Life of Flowers in a Carafe, a Copper Basin with Glasses and Carafe, Fruit, Taralli and a Glass Bottle, oil on canvas, 39 3/4  by 51 1/8  in.; 101 by 130 cm. Estimate 80,000 — 120,000 USD. Lot sold 162,500 USD. Courtesy Sotheby's.

ExhibitedTurin, Fondazione Accorsi, L'incantesimo dei sensi: una collezione di nature morte del Seicento per il Museo Accorsi, 30 November 2005 - 1 May 2006, no. 11. 

LiteratureG. De Vito, "Un diverso avvio per il primo tempo della natura morta a Napoli," in Ricerche sul '600 napoletano. Saggi e documenti per la storia dell'arte, Milan 1990, pp. 123-124, reproduced fig. 38 (as Attributed to Giacomo Recco);
A. Cottino, L'Incantesimo dei sensi, Una collezione di nature morte del Seicento per il Museo Accorsi, exhibition catalogue, Turin 2005, pp. 62-65, 105, cat. no. 11, reproduced

NoteThe attribution of this beautifully arranged still life, combining flowers, fruit, and various objects, has so far eluded scholars. It is clearly by an accomplished hand and diplays masterful touches, particularly the sheen of the copper basin and cup, and the reflection of an open window warped by the convex shape of the glass vase and floating glass bottle.  Also reflected, is a self-portrait of the unknown artist himself (see detail).  The circular objects seen on the table at far right are taralli, a type of biscuit, traditional in southern Italy.

Giuseppe de Vito (see Literature) suggested a tentative attribution of this painting to Giacomo Recco (1603-before 1653).  Giacomo, the eldest member of a family of painters, was one of the first Neapolitan still life painters to specialize in floral subjects, though few certain works by him are known.  Examples include a signed and dated (1626) Vase of Flowers in the Rivet collection, Paris; a Vase of Flowers with the coat-of-arms of Cardinal Voli in a private collection, Bergamo; and a Vase of Flowers with the coat-of-arms of the Spada Family in the Galleria Lorenzelli, Bergamo.1

1.  See A. della Ragione, La Natura Morta Napoletana del Seicento, Naples 2016, reproduced p. 8, fig. 9 and plates 41 and 42, respectively.

Sotheby's. Master Paintings New York, 22 May 2018