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Sweetmeats and Dried Fruit on a Table
Hiepes, Tomás
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Hiepes, Tomás

Valencia, 1610 - Valencia, 1674

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Sweetmeats and Dried Fruit on a Table

1600 - 1635. Oil on canvas.
Room 008A

The composition of this still-life follows a strict geometric schema, in the manner of Juan van der Hamen. Two baskets and two metal plates flank a dark bottle in the center of the painting, marking the main axis of symmetry around which the composition is organized. One of the baskets contains a mound of hazelnuts and chestnuts with smooth, shiny skin, both nuts associated with autumn. The basket on the right is filled with rolled wafflelike pastry cones in a similar mound or heap. Toward the front, on the silver or pewter plate, we see pieces of turrón (a nougat candy) of different kinds, one with whole hazelnuts and another, generally called Alicante, with sliced and ground roasted almonds, and resting atop them, a large ring-shaped pastry. On the right, another metal plate holds a half-dozen flat tortes, the one on top broken into pieces. To complete this delicious-looking composition Hiepes has painted three small pastries (bread, perhaps, or perhaps some sort of stuffed pastry), one with the top dusted with sugar, arranged between the two plates. The surface on which this splendid array of dessert temptations is displayed is extraordinarily simple in comparison with the complex grouping: a flat pastry-board painted a shade of red, perfectly four-square and unadorned but vigorously highlighted against a dark background, bringing all the stars of the painting into sharp relief and seemingly even closer to the delighted viewer hypothetically contemplating the painting, delighting in its exceptional sense of reality.

The rich and diverse colors of the painting, and its lighting, which produces considerable chiaroscuro, demonstrate Hiepes’ mastery in differentiating the tactile qualities of the foods, which are clearly and quite suggestively identified in their individual characters, and thus bearing witness to the spectrum of pastries in traditional Spanish cuisine.

Javier Portús notes that the appearance of the coat of arms of Valencia on one of the waffle-rolls and the piece of turrón in the lower left corner of the painting seems to indicate a Valencian origin for this canvas, whose style and composition are characteristic of Hiepes’ early career. Not only the shape and weave of the baskets but also the role played by the dark bottle in the composition remind us of another of Hiepes’ works, the Kitchen Still-Life (P03202), which has similar details.

Van der Hamen was the first painter in the court at Madrid to popularize still-lifes with sweets and pastries, and their wide acceptance allows us to deduce potential clients’ interest in owning canvases of this kind. The fact that Hiepes created works of the same kind may indicate that he was familiar with the work of van der Haman, whose formulas he would have wanted to follow (thinking of their commercial success), or might indicate the interest on the part of Hiepes’ Valencian clients to own paintings of a kind that had become so desirable among members of the court. However that may be, one can also see in Hiepes’ special dedication to this genre a nexus with his personal history - he was linked rather closely to this branch of gastronomy, since his sister, Vicenta, owned a pastry shop in Valencia, a city known for its love of all types of sweets (Text drawn from Luna, J. J.: El Greco to Goya. Masterpieces from the Prado Museum, Museo de Arte de Ponce, 2012, p. 130-131).

Technical data

Inventory number
Hiepes, Tomás
Sweetmeats and Dried Fruit on a Table
1600 - 1635
Height: 66 cm; Width: 95 cm
Rosendo Naseiro Collection, Madrid; acquired for the Museo del Prado, 2006.

Bibliography +

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Pintura española de bodegones y floreros de 1600 a Goya, Ministerio de Cultura, Madrid, 1983, pp. nº115.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E. (1935-2010)), La nature morte espagnole du XVII sièecle a Goya /, Office du Livre ; Vilo, Friburgo, 1987, pp. 153.

Pérez Sánchez, Alfonso E., Thomas Yepes, Fundacion Bancaja, Valencia, 1995, pp. nº5.

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

Lo fingido verdadero. Bodegones de la colección Naseiro adquiridos para el Prado, Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, 2006, pp. 67.

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. 76/77.

Del Greco a Goya. Obras maestras del Museo del Prado, Museo de Arte de Ponce. MNP. AC/E, 2012, pp. 78-79.

Marco García, Victor, Pintura barroca en Valencia, 1600-1737, CEEH, Centro de Estudios de Europa Hispánica, Madrid, 2021, pp. 448 nº.43 f.82.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 2714.

Exhibitions +

From El Greco to Goya: Masterpieces from the Museo del Prado
Ponce, Puerto Rico
25.03.2012 - 16.07.2012

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 +

Sweets / Sweetmeats: Turrón,rosquilla, barquillos, tortas, panes dulces.

Update date: 02-10-2022 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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