Robbie Dell’Aira discovered her, The Fruitseller in Loevestein Castle. But what was she doing
there, in the restaurant? The painting, then ascribed to ‘school/environment of
Frans Snyders’ and lent to the castle in the seventies, was a bit of a mystery.
But Dell’Aira could place her in the vicinity of Vincenzo Campi’s atelier, and
maybe even painted by the master himself.
1536-1591) and his brother Antonio are seen as the harbingers of the Italian
still life paintings.
quick observer the market scenes of Campi resemble the paintings made in
Antwerp by Joachim Beuckelaer and Frans Snyders. And Vincenzo Campi certainly visited the town, where many Italian tradehouses were to be found. He must have been inspired by the painters in Flandria,but gave the genre his own twist.
painting at Loevestein can be compared to the other Fruitsellers of Campi, the
one in the Pinacoteca di Brera in Milano; and one in the Fugger-collection in
Kirchheim, Bavaria, signed VINCENTUS CAMPUS CREMONENSIS F. 1580; and a third
one that was presented in the New York gallery Conalghi in 1983.
in the centre of these paintings show a great resemblance. The theme must have
been a beststeller. She is pealing a peach (?), and the painting is loaded with
double entendres. In the Loevestein inventory the painting was
dubbed Minestrae Voluptatis. And it has all the wealth in vegetables, fruit and
flowers one would expect.
question: what was a Vincenzo Campi doing in the Netherlands? The painter was
popular in 17th century Antwerp, and certainly a still life was part
of the collection of trader Cornelis van der Geest, according to Dell’Aira. The priest Hendrik
Hillewerven, also Antwerp, owned one in
1694 (een wyff met groen en fruyten – a woman with greens and fruit made by
Vincent del Campo) , when an inventory was made of his possessions. A
Campi with the same subject was sold
from Belgium to the Netherlands approx. 80 years ago, but it’s not certain that the
Loevestein Campi and the Hillewerven are one and the same painting.
Dell’Aira published his discovery, the privately owned painting was about to be cleaned and exhibited at a
more appropriate place. But, when I google her now, I see she’s up for auction.
bitterballen. Over de Fruytverkoopster in de Taveerne van Slot Loevestein, zj/private communication.