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Title Basket of Flowers with Birds
Collection Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Artist attributed to British School
attributed Dutch School
Attributed to Italian School
Previously attributed to Monnoyer, Jean-Baptiste (French painter, 1636-1699, active in Paris and London)
Date Earliest about 1600
Date Latest about 1650
Description The two birds on the left hand-side form an unusual detail for this decorative still-life, as they seem to be reminiscences of earlier still life painters, such as Blas de Ledesma (Spain, sixteenth century) or Paolo Porpora (Naples, seventeenth century). It is traditionally attributed to Monnoyer, but experts diverge from this attribution, thinking it is indeed eighteenth-century French (but not by Monnoyer), or that it may be Italian, because of the bird detail, which is not a feature of the French school. Other attributions place this painting as belonging to the Flemish or English school.
Current Accession Number B.M.769
Subject still life
Measurements 18.5 x 37 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.
Notes In a letter dated 19 February 1996, Frederico Peri [?] thinks the painting is from Bologna, close to Mezzadri. In a letter dated 11 September 1969, E. E. Young does not think the painting has a close connection with the Monnoyer circle, and thinks it is 'French School, eighteenth century'. Michel Faré, in a letter from 1975, thinks that the painting is certainly Italian, because the bird detail is foreign to the French School. A painting by J.-B. Monnoyer resembling this one was sold at Christies on 22 April 1988, lot 43. It does not however have the bird detail. Claudia Salvi, a specialist of flower painters, thinks that this painting, as well as its pendant (B.M.770) are rather modest affairs, possibly Flemish or English, from the beginning of the seventeenth century. Their 'international' style makes their origin difficult to pinpoint (letter dated 7 October 2006). This painting has a pendant in the Bowes Museum Collection: B.M.770.
Rights Owner The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
Author Dr Maylis Hopewell-Curie




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