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Delft Fruit Bowl and two Vases of Flowers
Hiepes, Tomás
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Hiepes, Tomás

Valencia, 1610 - Valencia, 1674

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Delft Fruit Bowl and two Vases of Flowers

1642. Oil on canvas.
Room 008A

In Tomás Hiepes´s Delftware fruit dish and two flower vases, a large bowl made from the ceramic typical of the Dutch city of Delft, filled with apples, pears and plums, is placed at the centre of a table, flanked by two sumptuous vases filled with aromatic orange blossoms. In its companion piece (P7910), two ceramic fruit dishes, decorated with motifs of eastern influence, are brimming with apples and plums (on the left) and pears and quince (on the right). In the two paintings, the objects stand out against a dark background, a typical device in Spanish still lifes that helps one identify more clearly the fruit and their containers. The space of each image is constructed primarily by the perspectival rendering of the tables and the fine cloths covering them, with the traces of folds in the tablecloths creating a grid that produces the sensation of depth. The painter conceived the paintings as a pair and has focused in particular on the creation of symmetrical compositions, though within that overall symmetry he has introduced notable variations. Much of the appeal and uniqueness of these works lies precisely in this symmetry and the way in which the compositions are subjected to a geometric structure. These are the earliest surviving signed works by Hiepes, who was the most important painter of still lifes in the region of Valencia in the seventeenth century. They present many of the features that distinguish his works from those of his Spanish contemporaries: the delight in symmetries, the use of colourful, decorative ceramics, and a minutely detailed pictorial style that lends each piece of fruit, each dish, each flower, a unique quality. To all this is added a certain monumentality that the artist achieves by means of an elevated point of view and the placement of the objects in the close foreground, so that they nearly fill the entire painted surface. The dark background and the compositional order that prevails in these still lifes and in others from Madrid or Seville have contributed to the persistence of a commonplace regarding the alleged austerity of the genre during the Spanish Baroque. Nevertheless, a contemporary viewer would recognise them as representations of manufactured objects associated with wealthy households, the same households on whose walls paintings such as these could be hung as one more sign of that wealth. Thus, the earthenware or ceramic containers on these tables are not examples of local production commonly found in most homes (such as Talavera, Triana or Manises pottery), but showy imported pieces only affordable for a few. The role of the lace tablecloths is similar. The combination of valuable, exquisite objects, a meticulously detailed pictorial language, and a highly ordered compositional structure reflects the urbane, well-to-do world to which this art belongs. This pair of paintings can be viewed, consequently, as among the artist´s most sophisticated works (Text drawn from Portús, J.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 164).

Technical data

Related artworks

Inventory number
Hiepes, Tomás
Delft Fruit Bowl and two Vases of Flowers
Height: 67 cm; Width: 96 cm
Acquisition from the Rosendo Naseiro Collection, 2006.

Bibliography +

Jordan, William B., Spanish Still Life From Velazquez To Goya, National Gallery, Londres, 1995.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Thomas Yepes, Fundacion Bancaja, Valencia, 1995, pp. nº2.

Cherry, Peter, Arte y naturaleza: el bodegón español en el siglo de oro, Ediciones Doce Calles, Madrid, 1999, pp. 272-273.

Scheffler, Felix, Das Spanische Stilleben des 17. Jahrhunderts.Theorie, Genese, Vervuert Verlag, Frankfurt, 2000, pp. 353-354.

Cherry, Peter, La Pintura de Bodegón en las Colecciones del Museo Cerralbo., Ministerio Educacion., Madrid, 2001.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel, El Bodegon en la España del Siglo de Oro, Edilupa Ediciones: S.L., 2002.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La Almoneda del Siglo: relaciones artísticas entre España y Gran Bretaña, 1604-1655, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2002, pp. nº11.

Lo fingido verdadero. Bodegones de la colección Naseiro adquiridos para el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006, pp. 62.

Oppermann, Ira, Das spanische Stillleben im 17. Jahrhundert, Reimer, Berlin, 2007, pp. 51-52.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Memoria de Actividades 2006, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2007, pp. 20-30.

Natures mortes de Sánchez Cotán a Goya a l'entorn de la col...., Museu Nacional d'Art de Cataluny, Barcelona, 2007.

Luna, Juan J., El bodegón español en el Prado: de Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 74/75.

Romero Asenjo, Rafael, El bodegón español en el siglo XVII : desvelando su naturale..., I & R, Madrid, 2009, pp. 252-256.

López Terrada, Mª José, La pintura de bodegones de Tomás Yepes (ca.1600-1674), Ars longa, 21, 2012, pp. 233-251 [236-238].

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 164-165, nº 43.

Marco García, Victor, Pintura barroca en Valencia, 1600-1737, CEEH, Centro de Estudios de Europa Hispánica, Madrid, 2021, pp. 449 nº 69.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2709.

Inscriptions +

+ / THOMAS YEPES / ME FECIT EN Vcia. / 1642
Signed and dated. Back, central area

M.N.PRADO / 07909
On metallic tablet. Stretcher

Nº 40 / 41
Handwritten label. Frame, back

Inscribed with ballpoint. Frame, back

Exhibitions +

Velázquez and the Golden Age
16.11.2018 - 03.03.2019

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
16.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Houston TX
15.12.2012 - 31.03.2013

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
22.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado
Brisbane, Australia
21.07.2012 - 04.11.2012

El bodegón español en el Prado
24.03.2011 - 26.06.2011

El bodegón español en el Prado
11.03.2010 - 06.06.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
12.10.2009 - 14.02.2010

El bodegón español en el Prado
25.06.2009 - 20.09.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
31.03.2009 - 31.05.2009

El bodegón español en el Prado
24.09.2008 - 30.11.2008

Naturalezas muertas. De Sánchez Cotán a Goya. En el entorno de la Colección Naseiro
26.03.2007 - 24.06.2007

Lo fingido verdadero. Bodegones españoles de la colección Naseiro adquiridos para el Prado.<br />
24.10.2006 - 07.01.2007

Location +

Room 008A (On Display)


Displayed objects +

Decorative object and tableware


Update date: 24-11-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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