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The First French Retrospective Dedicated to Baschenis, Bergamo’s Master of the Portrait and Still Life

Published on , by Carole Blumenfeld

Thanks to loans from the Accademia Carrara and La Scala, but also from private collectors, the Canesso Gallery presents the first French retrospective devoted to Evaristo Baschenis, the noblest of the still life painters.

Evaristo Baschenis (1617–1677), still life with musical instruments (lute, chitarrino,... The First French Retrospective Dedicated to Baschenis, Bergamo’s Master of the Portrait and Still Life

Evaristo Baschenis (1617–1677), still life with musical instruments (lute, chitarrino, sheet music, spinet, violin and bow, Spanish guitar), c. 1660, oil on canvas, 81 x 99 cm/ 31.88 x 38.97 in (detail), private collection. DR

During the memorable exhibition devoted to the 'Master of Denim Cloth' at the Canesso Gallery in 2010, Jeune garçon avec une corbeille de pain et de pâtisseries ( Young Boy with a Basket of Bread and Pastries ) by Evaristo Baschenis (1617-1677) left a lasting impression, especially since no work by the artist is held in a French public collection. Since then, it has entered the Accademia Carrara in Bergamo. It aroused our curiosity and left us wanting to see more. The Agliardi triptych has not been shown since "The Still Lifes of Evaristo Baschenis: The Music of Silence" at the Metropolitan Museum in 2000. After reading Ornat Lev-Er’s 2019 book Still-Life as Portrait in Early Modern Italy. Baschenis, Bettera, and the Painting of Cultural Identity (Amsterdam University Press), Maurizio Canesso wanted to show the French public Baschenis’ works "as theater stages where the culture of his clients was exhibited”, he said, “cultural portraits, faithful glimpses of the society" in 17th-century Bergamo. Baschenis is far from unknown, but he was copied so much that his work was confused…
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