Provenance: Falanga collection, Milan;
With Paolo Sapori, Spoleto.
Exhibited: Pontedera, Center for the art Otello Cirri, Light and shadow: Caravaggism and naturalism in the seventeenth-century Tuscan painting, March - June 2005, no. 33 ;
Turin, Accorsi Foundation, The spell of the senses: a collection of still lifes of the seventeenth century for the Accors Museum , 30 November 2005 - 1 May 2006, no. 6;
Rome, Galleria Borghese, The origin of still life in Italy. Caravaggio and the Master of Hartford, November 2016 - February 2017, no. 25.
Literature: A. Cottino, in The Still Life at the Time of Caravaggio, Naples 1995, p. 62-63, reproduced p. 63, fig. 6;
A. Cottino, "Pietro Paolo Bonzi called the Gobbo dei frutti or the Gobbo dei Carracci," in E. Negro and M. Pirondini, eds., The School of Carracci: The Followers of Annibale and Agostino, Modena 1995, pp. 126-127, reproduced fig. 157;
A. Cottino, in Light and shadow: Caravaggism and naturalism in seventeenth-century Tuscan painting,exhibition catalog, Pisa 2005, pp. 94-95, cat. no. 33 reproduced;
A. Cottino, The spell of the senses: a collection of still lifes of the seventeenth century for the Accorsi Museum , exhibition catalog, Turin 2005 pp. 50-51, 102, cat. no. 6, reproduced;
Connaissance des Arts, 2006, no. 634-636, reproduced p. 36;
A. Coliva and D. Dotti, The origin of still life in Italy. Caravaggio and the Hartford Master, exhibition catalog , Milan 2016, pp. 240-241, cat. no. 25, reproduced pp. 144, 191, 240.
Note: Pietro Paolo Bonzi, an Italian artist born in Cortona but active in Rome around the turn of the 17th century. This luscious still-life undoubtedly ranks among the most magnificent works. According to Malvasia, Bonzi studied in Rome with the landscape artist Giovanni Battista Viola as well as the Carracci. In addition to his landscapes of the Roman countryside, he also had a particularly strong talent in depicting still-lifes. Even With His hunched back-to deformity That earned him the nickname The Hunchback of Fruits, or hunchback of the fruit-Bonzi was unrivaled in Rome during his lifetime in his sumptuous depictions of fruit and flowers.
This refined and opulent painting, as well as exemplifies the evolution of the genre of the Italian still-life during the early seventeenth century. Soft light shining from the upper left illuminates the varied surfaces of the fruits, containers, and surfaces that define the balanced and naturalistic composition. A table with a bouquet of grapes, pomegranates, apples and quinces that is reminiscent of Caravaggio's famed Basket of Fruit in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan. 1 Below the basin, a basket of soft and fuzzy peaches, a rough melon, some delicate plums, and a plate of figs.
1. Inv. No.151, oil on canvas, 41 by 64 cm.