Coppia di angeli con ghirlanda floreale
Bottega di Carlo Maratta (Camerano 1625 - Roma 1713)
Pair of angels with floral garland and cartouche with family motto 'Pulchriora latent'
Workshop of Carlo Maratta (Camerano, 1625 - Rome, 1713)
Dated on parchment, right: 1697
oil on the table,
94 x 84 cm.
In frame 105 x 95 cm.
D1255 € 8.500 Request information
This magnificent composition, depicting two little fluttering cupids intent on holding up a garland of flowers, can be traced back, both for the stylistic characteristics and for the compositional taste, to a master active in the fervid seventeenth-century Baroque Rome.
One of the two cupids is about to grab the bow of the garland with his head facing downwards, while with the other hand he shows a parchment which bears, in addition to the date of execution, the Latin expression "Pulchriora latent" ("The the most beautiful things are hidden"), which could probably recall the motto of the commissioning family. A second winged putto, perched on a cloud, watches the scene clutching the other end of the garland, richly decorated with various types of flowers, enriching the composition with a piece of still life of excellent quality.
The iconography that sees putti with flowers represented is frequent in the Baroque period, especially in Rome, congenial to the new bourgeois class, who wanted more illusionistic and frivolous images for their residences, and therefore aspired to a type of paintings with a strong decorative value , depicting jubilation of cherubs, angels or cherubs, and of which our table represents an emblematic example.
Going into the detail of the composition, his design invention as well as the stupendous lighting and chromatic effects lead us to link his authorship to the inventive flair of the workshop of Carlo Maratta (1625 - 1713). Note how the soft roundness of the playful cherubs, the brushstroke that defines the flowing hair and their soft complexions, are characteristic elements of his art.
In particular, it is useful to recall the series of paintings commissioned in 1692 by the banker Francesco Montioni for his palace in Rome (Opere di palazzo Montioni, Rome: link), and which Maratta himself executed with the collaboration of his pupil Franz Werner von Tamm (1658-1724). Again in collaboration with Tamm, Carlo Maratta repeated these compositions for the Marquis Nicolò Maria Pallavicini.
This still life iconography immediately found an echo among Roman collectors, and was therefore replicated and varied on numerous occasions. Among these the 'Garland of flowers with cupids' (Sotheby's, London, 6 July 1994, n. 115), finds correspondences with our painting:
A particularity that makes this work unique is that the panel is also painted on the back with two vertical ornaments with acanthus leaf motifs, which seem to have been carved in the 'trompe l'oeil' style. One could assume their original function as doors for a chamber organ.
Excellent state of conservation.
The work is sold with a certificate of authenticity and a descriptive iconographic sheet.
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