|European Watercolors — Giovanna Garzoni - A Plate of Figs|
|Giovanna Garzoni - A Plate of Figs
Provenance: (Possibly) Ferdinando II de Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, commissioned from the artist by 1662.
Medium: Bodycolor on vellum, laid on board
Dimensions: Vellum size: 9 3/4” x 13 7/8”; frame size: 15 1/2” x 19 1/8”
Exhibitions: Westfalisches Landesmuseum fur Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Munster, Still-Leben in Europa, 25 November 1979 - 24 February 1980, no. 152; Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, 15 March - 15 June 1980; Bayerische Staatgemaldesammlungen, Alte Pinokothek, Munich, Italian still life painting from three centuries, The Silvano Lodi collection, 27 November 1984 - 22 February 1985, no. 41; Gemaldegalerie Staaliche Museen-Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin, 6 September - 27 Ocotober 1985; Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Italian still life painting, The Silvano Lodi collection, June 1994; Seiji Togo Memorial Kasai Museum of Art, Tokyo, Italian still life painting, The Silvano Lodi collection, 28 April - 26 May 2001, no. 16. Schloss Achberg, Ravensburg, Natura morte italian: Italienische stilleben aus vier Jahrhunderten, Sammlung Silvano Lodi, 11 April - 12 October 2003; to be included in upcoming exhibtion at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C., Italian Women Artists from Renaissance to Baroque: Commerce, Court & Convent, March 16 - July 15, 2007.
Literature: Still-Leben in Europa, exhibition catalogue (Munster, 1980), p. 285, no. 152; L. Salerno, Italian still painting from three centuries, The Silvano Lodi Collection, exhibition catalogue (Florence, 1984), pp. 103-4, no. 41; L. Salerno, La natura morta italiana 1560-1805 (Rome, 1984), p. 137, fig. 33.7; G. Casale, Giovanna Garzoni: ‘insigne miniatrice’, 1600-1670 (Milan 1991), no. A34; Italian still life painting, The Silvano Lodi collection, Jerusalem, 1994; Italian still life painting, from The Silvano Lodi collection, exhibition catalogue (Tokyo, 2001),
p. 53, no. 16; S. Dathe, Natura morte italian: Italienisches stilleben aus vier Jahrhunderten, Sammlung Silvano Lodi, exhibition catalogue (Ravensburg, 2003), p. 37
This Plate of figs belongs to the important suite of more than twenty fruitpieces that Giovanna Garzoni painted for Ferdinando II, Grand Duke of Tuscany (1621-1670). On 28 October 1662, Garzoni wrote to the Grand Duke to thank him for his generous compensation for her ‘miniature de frutti’, adding that she was enclosing ‘another Tazza (dish) to add to the twenty others’. The parchment miniatures are cited in the 1692 inventory of the Villa Poggio Imperiale in Florence, the favorite residence of the Grand Duchess Vittoria. In the eighteenth century, the series was transferred with the Galleria Palatina to the city of Florence and today is exhibited at the Palazzo Pitti. This delightful Plate of figs is one of only six still lifes from the original suite that are today in private hands.
The rediscovery of Giovanna Garzoni can be traced back to the great exhibition of Italian still life paintings held in Naples, Rotterdam and Zurich in 1964. Since that date, the research of many scholars has uncovered the well-documented life of an outstanding woman artist whose works were prized at the courts of Florence, Naples, Rome, Turin, and beyond the Alps to France. Born to a modest family of Venetians temporarily resident in Ascoli Piceno, Garzoni maintained her independence, moving restlessly between farflung cities until finally settling in 1651 in Rome, where, rich and famous, she lived out her long life. She was great.