Split-roasted pork, roast turkey or capon, fish and spider crabs… At a time when restaurants sadly remain closed, feast your eyes at the Canesso Gallery in Paris.
Giacomo Liegi (1605-1640/1645), The Pantry, oil on canvas, 149 x 188 cm (59 x 74 in).
© Galerie Canesso
Following “L’amour de l’art” (“Love of Art”) presented last autumn, this new thematic exhibition celebrates the pleasures of good food. On the menu are nine Italian paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries. That might not seem a lot, but each work is a true delight. With the exceptions of a portrait of a cook by Niccolò Cassana, Fete by a Riverbank by Giovanni Andrea Donducci, and a grisaille by Enrico Albricci on the subject of a dwarf’s kitchen, the display gives pride of place to the still life. Every detail is rendered with exquisite meticulousness, from the velvety skin of Fede Galizia’s peaches to the coarseness of Giuseppe Recco’s shells. No big names here; what counts is the quality and provenance of the paintings.
“This exhibition is the result of several years of research. These are rare works, some of which still retain their share of mystery,” says Maurizio Canesso. For example, Panfilo Nuvolone’s enigmatic Still Life, which features three tables: one aristocratic, decorated with a precious tablecloth, the second combining food, weapons and musical instruments, the third acting as a memento mori. Never seen before, this large painting appeared in an inventory following the death of Pirro Maria Gonzaga, Prince of Mantua, in 1628. Until now, it had never left the family’s collections.