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|Author: Francesco Maltese|
|Still Life, Painting, Oil on canvas, 97x132 cm|
|Origin: Italy, 1650s - 1680s|
We know almost nothing of the life of this artist, although judging by the nickname "Maltese" he was born on the island of Malta. His paintings, still lifes with fruits and musical instruments, are very rare. The Hermitage has two canvases - forming a pair - by Maltese, Still Life with a Melon and Still Life with an Oriental Carpet. This work is very simple in composition, almost the whole picture field being occupied by a luxurious yellow, red and blue Isfahan carpet. Above it is a narrow strip of dark folded curtain, and the carpet is set with a flat plate with sweets. This might be just an ordinary staged still life, but the virtuoso skill of the artist makes it a masterpiece. We can almost feel the thickness and weight of the carpet in its large folds, and the thick shining brushstrokes masterfully convey the surface of the thick, wool nap. Without needing a large number of objects or a complex composition, the master was able to create an impression of wealth and luxury.
|Album: Pair to the painting "Still Life with a Melon"|
|Source of entry: Provenance: between 1774 and 1783|
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