Thursday, 20 April 2017

A bull in a porcelain shop

Subastas Retiro, from Spain, sells on 26 April 2017 a "17th century Spanish school" Interior with still life estimated at 1,650 Euro. The description explains that this is a large work (106 by 160 cm) made from 17th century canvas fragments.

It looks as if this was one painting which was very, very badly damaged, and then restored as if it was a jigsaw puzzle. This gives a strange effect, but it seems to me to be more honest than to over-restore this to turn it into a single painting again.

The subject is one I hadn't seen before, a 17th century depiction of a porcelain shop (it could be the interior of a rich kitchen as well, but to me it looks like a shop). Porcelain at the time was frighteningly expensive, and most paintings proudly showed one or two pieces, not a whole range. The closest I could find was a kitchen scene by Floris van Schooten.

All in all: a painting with a rare subject, a mediocre style, and in a terrible condition (which somehow makes it interesting again). No idea whether it truly is Spanish, or what the value might be. Not a lot, probably.

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