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Francisco Barrera (1595 - 1657)

Lot 58: FRANCISCO BARRERA 1595 Madrid - 1658 Bodegón de invierno. Enero

Isbilya Subastas

May 8, 2018
Sevilla, Spain

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Description

FRANCISCO BARRERA 1595 Madrid - 1658
Bodegón de invierno. Enero
Francisco Barrera and Antonio Ponce were responsible for extending the fashion of seasonal still lifes in Madrid in the mid-17th century; Still lifes in which the typical products of a certain season or month were shown: they had to realize several series of this type, of which we do not know any complete series and yes several loose specimens. The theme of the seasons is treated explicitly in series signed mostly by these two painters in which both products from the garden and meat are displayed placed on tables or plinths in austere kitchens closely following the spatial concept created by Juan de Van der Hamen some years before, although in the productions of both a desire is perceived to surpass these schemes introducing in its works a more moved spirit, more baroque. The best-known series is the one painted by Barrera in 1638 and entitled "The Four Seasons" preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts in Seville and which also includes characters related to the work of the corresponding station. For his part, Ponce, disciple of Juan de Van der Hamen, also makes series of this theme contemporary to those of Barrera (1635-1645) although with a style more attached to that of his teacher, of which he becomes a skilful imitator, copying in many of his paintings the typical elements of the production of the first, such as the fruit baskets (Cherry, Peter: Art and Nature: the Spanish still life in the Golden Age.). Foundation of Support for the History of Hispanic Art, Madrid , 1999, page 208, images 138 and 139).
In the still life that occupies us, a window opens to the left of the composition showing us an icy landscape, typical of the month that is represented and just below the sill, in large capital letters and gilded the name of the month represented "JANUARY " Through the window comes a diffuse, gray, cold light that illuminates a slaughter table placed on the right, above it a pig opened in the canal and underneath a wicker basket that already contains some pieces of meat, while the guts have been hanging on the wall; This last element is solved in the same way as the sausages that appear on the table of the "Still life with sausages and chickens" signed by Barrera and dated in 1646 and belonging to the Naseiro collection (Cherry, lame XLII.2), while the basket under the table is identical to the one that appears in "El verano" also signed by Barrera in this case in 1638 and preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts of Seville. There are also six large seasonal still lifes signed by Barrera, belonging to a series that should consist of twelve paintings, since in each of them the name of the month that is represented is written. The name of the month always appears on the gray wall and in large capital letters and gold. The six known still lifes belong to the months of February, April, May, June, July and August, and the remaining six months remain unknown. All of them are painted on canvas of large format, with measures between 101 x 160 cm. and the 102 x 155 cm .; and they are scattered today: three in the Slovak National Gallery in Bratislava, two in private collection and the last in the Arango collection (Cherry, page 203-206, line XLIV-XLVI). In these tables the typical dishes of the month in question are shown inside a room, probably the kitchen, with neutral and poorly lit walls, on tables or stepped plinths; in all of them there is an open window that shows a typical landscape of the month that occupies us, a resource taken from Van der Hamen and previous flamenco artists. As Cherry indicates, this series should have been done for an important client, and its effect when hanging the twelve paintings one after the other, from January to December, should be spectacular.
Oil on canvas
100 x 161 cm
Antique painting and 19th C.

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