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Still Life with Cardoon, Francolin, Grapes and Irises
Ramírez, Felipe
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Ramírez, Felipe

1628, 1631

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Still Life with Cardoon, Francolin, Grapes and Irises

1628. Oil on canvas.
Not on display

Because this work is signed and dated, it reveals the existence of a painter by the name of Felipe Ramírez, although art historians know virtually nothing else about him. This lovely example of his work makes it clear, however, that he continued the tradition of the variety of still life cultivated by Juan Sánchez Cotán (1560-1627), an artist who is considered the most original contributor to the genre in Spain. Sánchez Cotán was responsible for a small group of memorable compositions that have come to be considered most characteristic of Spanish still-life painting: frugal presentations of foodstuffs, carefully arranged in a pantry, which, on occasion, have been interpreted in terms of their possible religious symbolism. Thus, two bunches of grapes, a cardoon, a dead francolin (a type of pheasant) and some irises are displayed here seemingly shrouded in mysterious silence. They are arranged in a fictitious larder and outlined sharply against a dark background. The minuteness of detail with which all the elements have been executed along with the strong contrasts produced by dramatic lighting combine to create a forceful image in which reality and fiction become confused and interwoven. Sánchez Cotán conceived of this type of work around 1600, at an early point in the development of the genre and when the first examples of still lifes were also appearing in Italy and the Low Countries. Ramírez´s perfect submission to Sánchez Cotán´s aesthetics has led some to speculate that this painting might be a copy of a now lost original by Sánchez Cotán. In fact, an X-ray analysis of the painting reveals that Ramírez showed no hesitancy in the execution nor made any corrections, which would, indeed, suggest that he was working from some earlier model -whether a painting or drawing. Sánchez Cotán himself copied some of the elements from his previous still lifes in subsequent works, and it is evident that Ramírez repeats quite closely some of the objects painted by the master from Toledo, such as the cardoon and the francolin, a species of bird much esteemed in the contemporary cuisine. Regarding the other objects in the composition, however, the references to Sánchez Cotán are less clear. William Jordan has illustrated several cases of documentary references to grapes painted by Sánchez Cotán, though no examples have survived to the present. The two bunches of grapes in this canvas are clearly two distinct varieties, whose execution links the painting to the work of El Labrador: an artist recorded between 1632 and 1636 who attained great renown as a painter of grapes (P7904). The delicate irises of the present canvas do not appear in any work that can be attributed to Sánchez Cotán with certainty, and the cup made of gilt silver also appears to have no precedent. Javier Portús suggests that these particular elements distinguish this painting significantly from anything Sánchez Cotán produced. Instead, they share more in common with elements of still lifes from the late 1620s that were painted for a courtly clientele during a time when the more complex style of Juan van der Hamen y León -whose paintings contained more sumptuous elements- became popular. This painting entered the Prado in 1940 when it was acquired with funds from the Bequest of the Count of Cartagena; prior to this it had belonged to the Vera collection until the Spanish Civil War. It is believed that this might be the still life described by Ceán Bermúdez in 1800: In Madrid, I have seen a canvas autographed by Felipe Ramírez in the possession of an aficionado, depicting a cardoon, some dead partridges, an iris in a glass and other objects that appeared to be completely real (Text drawn from Ruiz, L.: Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from the Prado, Queensland Art Gallery-Art Exhibitions Australia, 2012, p. 154).

Technical data

Inventory number
Ramírez, Felipe
Still Life with Cardoon, Francolin, Grapes and Irises
Height: 71 cm; Width: 92 cm
Vera Collection, Torrelaguna, Madrid; José Martín-Montalvo y Gurrea, 1940; acquisition for the Prado Museum with funds from the Legacy of the Count of Cartagena, 1940.

Bibliography +

Ceán Bermúdez, Juan Agustín, Diccionario historico de los mas ilustres profesores de las, en la imprenta de la Viuda de Ibarra, Madrid, 1800, pp. 146.

Cavestany, Julio, Floreros y bodegones en la pintura española: catalogo ilustr, Sociedad Española de Amigos del Arte, Madrid, 1936, pp. 81.

Cavestany, J., Tres bodedgones firmados inéditos, Archivo español de arte, 15, 1942, pp. 101.

Soria, M.S., Sánchez Cotán's Quince Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber, Art Quaterly, 1945, pp. 225-230.

Lafuente Ferrari, Enrique, Breve historia de la pintura española, Dossat, Madrid, 1946, pp. 251.

Orozco, E., Realismo y religiosidad en la pintura de Sánchez Cotán, Goya: Revista de Arte, 1, 1954, pp. 19-28.

Bergstrom, Ingvar, Maestros Españoles de bodegones y floreros del S. XVII, Insula, Madrid, 1970, pp. 88.

Ars hispaniae: historia universal del arte hispánico, Plus Ultra, Madrid, 1971, pp. 25.

Torres Martin, Ramon, La naturaleza muerta en la pintura española, Seix Barral, Barcelona, 1971, pp. 112/ lám.12.

Angulo Íñiguez, Diego, Historia de la pintura española: escuela toledana de la primera mitad del siglo XVII, Instituto Diego Velázquez, Madrid, 1972.

Salas, Xavier de, Museo del Prado. Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Gudiol Ricart, J., Natures mortes de Sánchez Cotán (1561-1627), Bruckmanns Pantheon, XXXV, 1977, pp. 311-318.

La nature morte de Brueghel a Soutine, Galerie des Beaux-Arts, Burdeos, 1978.

Bergström, G et Al., Stilleben, Zurich, 1979, pp. 142.

Stilleben in Europa, Münster / Baden Baden, 1979, pp. nº134.

Veca, Alberto, Paradeisos. Dall'Universo del Fiore, Galleria Lorenzelli, Bergamo, 1982, pp. 255.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1983, pp. 35.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 531.

Jordan, W.B., Spanish still life in the Golden Age: 1600-1650, Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 1985, pp. 49/ lám.110.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E. (1935-2010)), La nature morte espagnole du XVII sièecle a Goya /, Office du Livre ; Vilo, Paris-Friburgo, 1987, pp. lám.26.

Du Greco a Goya: chefs-d'oeuvre du Prado et de collections e, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Ginebra, 1989, pp. 42.

Jordan, William, A newly still life by Juan Sánchez Cotán, The Burlington magazine, 132, 1990, pp. 97/ lám.17.

Karge, H, Vision Oder Wirklichkeit. Die Spanische Malerei Der Neuzeit, Klinkhardt & Biermann, Munich, 1991, pp. 187.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La imitación de la naturaleza: los bodegones de Sánchez Cotá, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1992, pp. 82.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura Española de Bodegones y Floreros, The National Museum of Western Art, Tokio, 1992.

Mann, Richard G., El Greco y sus patronos: tres grandes proyectos, Akal, Madrid, 1994, pp. 11.

Buendía, José Rogelio, El Prado. Colecciones de Pintura, Lunwerg Editores, Barcelona, 1994, pp. 82.

Jordan, William B., El bodegón español de Velázquez a Goya, Ediciones el Viso, Madrid, 1995, pp. 35.

Museo Nacional del Prado, La belleza de lo real: floreros y bodegones españoles en el, COLLECIONES DEL MUSEO DEL PRADO, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1995, pp. 43-44.

Jordan, William B., Spanish Still Life From Velazquez To Goya, National Gallery, London, 1995, pp. 35.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado. Inventario general de pinturas (III). Nuevas Adquisiciones. Museo Iconográfico. Tapices., Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996, pp. nº1700.

Naturaleza y Verdad Siglos XVII al XX, Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes, Mexico, 1996.

Cherry, Peter, Arte y naturaleza: el bodegón español en el siglo de oro, Ediciones Doce Calles, Aranjuez(Madrid), 1999, pp. 252/ lám.178.

Milicua, José, El bodegón español: de Zurbarán a Picasso, Fundación Bilbao Bizkaia KutxaMuseo de Bellas Arte, Bilbao, 1999, pp. 76.

Pleguezuelo, Alfonso, Cerámicas para agua en el barroco español: Una primera aproximación desde la litaratura y la pintura, Ars Longa: Cuadernos de Arte, 9/10, 2000, pp. 124.

El bodegón, Galaxia GutenbergCírculo de Lectores, Madrid, 2000, pp. lám.28.

Museo Nacional del Prado, El Greco y la pintura española del Renacimiento: guía, Museo del Prado, Aldeasa, Madrid, 2001, pp. 220.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Pintura barroca española: guía, Museo Nacional del PradoAldeasa, Madrid, 2001, pp. 118.

Aterido Fernández, Ángel, El Bodegon en la España del Siglo de Oro, Edilupa Ediciones: S.L., Madrid, 2002, pp. 37,38.

Flores españolas del Siglo de Oro: la pintura de flores en la España del siglo XVII, Fundación Amigos del Museo del Prado, Madrid, 2002, pp. 105.

Obras Maestras del Museo del Prado, The Yomiuri Shimbun, Tokyo, 2002.

El arte en la España del Quijote, Empresa Pública Don Quijote de la Mancha 2005: So, Ciudad Real, 2005, pp. 212.

El vino en El Prado, Fundación para la cultura del vino, 2007.

Luna, Juan J., El bodegón español en el Prado: de Van der Hamen a Goya, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2008, pp. 62-63.

Schroth, Sarah, El Greco to Velazquez: art during the reign of Philip III, MFA Publications, Boston, 2008, pp. 269.

Portrait of Spain. Masterpieces from The Prado, Queensland Art Gallery, 2012, pp. 154-155, nº38.

Aterido, A., ALba, L., Juan Fernández 'El Labrador', Miguel de Pret y la 'construcción' de la naturaleza muerta, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XXXI, 2013, pp. 34-53 [47].

Naturalezas muertas en la España del Siglo de Oro, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, 2015, pp. 28-29 n.1.

¡Hola Prado!: Two Collections in Dialogue, Michael Imhof Verlag,, 2017, pp. 112-3 n.18.

Portús Pérez, Javier, Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: The Golden Age in the Museo del Prado, The Yomiuri Shimbun: The National Museum of Western Art, Tokio, 2018, pp. n.43.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 1700.
Autor, Ramírez. / 1700. Asunto, bodegón-Lienzo, 71 x 92. / Nº de catálogo, 2802. / adquirido en 1940 con fondos del legado Cartagena.

Inscriptions +

Philipe Ramirez/ fa 1628
Signed and dated. Front, upper right area

Exhibitions +

Rembrandt-Velázquez [España-Holanda]
11.10.2019 - 19.01.2020

Velázquez, Rembrandt, Vermeer. Parallel visions
25.06.2019 - 29.09.2019

Velázquez and the Golden Age
16.11.2018 - 03.03.2019

Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: the Golden Age in the Museo del Prado
13.06.2018 - 14.10.2018

Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: the Golden Age in the Museo del Prado
24.02.2018 - 27.05.2018

Velázquez and the Celebration of Painting: the Golden Age in the Museo del Prado
20.02.2018 - 27.05.2018

¡Hola Prado! Two Collections in Dialogue
08.04.2017 - 20.08.2017

Los bodegones del Siglo de Oro español. Obras Maestras del Museo del Prado
23.04.2015 - 26.07.2015

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

El arte en la España del Quijote
Ciudad Real
03.11.2005 - 26.02.2006

Flores españolas del Siglo de Oro / Spanich Flower Painting in the Golden Age
15.11.2002 - 02.02.2003

Spaanse Bloemenpracht Stillevens uit dee Zeventiende Eeuw - Flores españolas del Siglo de Oro
17.08.2002 - 14.10.2002

Obras Maestras del Museo del Prado - Tokio
05.03.2002 - 23.06.2002

El bodegón español. de Zurbarán a Picasso
03.12.1999 - 19.04.2000

Naturaleza y verdad: Bodegones y flores (siglos XVII-XX)
México D.F.
28.11.1996 - 17.02.1997

Spanish still life. Painting from Sánchez Cotán to Goya
22.02.1995 - 21.05.1995

Bodegones españoles
21.04.1992 - 31.05.1992

Bodegones españoles
11.02.1992 - 12.04.1992

Obras maestras de la Pintura Española: del Siglo de Oro a Goya
14.06.1989 - 24.09.1989

Displayed objects +

Goblets (no glass)

Update date: 31-05-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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