Elena Recco
(Napoli, 1654 - Madrid, 1715)

Still life of fish, 17th century

oil painting on canvas
40 cm x 48 cm, in a 52 cm x 60 cm frame
Expert report by Prof. Strinati present.

"Still Life of Fish (oil on canvas, 37 x 47 cm, in frame 50 x 62) is a work that falls well within the scope of the production of Elena Recco, an illustrious specialist painter of this genre, daughter of the great Neapolitan master Giuseppe Recco and long active alongside her father (as well as her little-known brother Nicola Maria ) between Naples and the Royal Court of Spain to which she moved, following her father, towards the end of the seventeenth century and where she remained for a long time, honored with very important and primary commissions.
Based on on the registry known and documented by Recco's historiography (Naples 1654, Madrid 1715) the painting in question here, from a stylistic and material point of view, certainly appears to me to be dated within the first decade of the eighteenth century, in the most mature phase of the art's production distinguished artist. I come to this consideration by comparing our work above all with some paintings coming from the ancient Orsini collection of Gravina di Puglia (today totally dispersed among various properties) where in fact truly remarkable still lifes of fish by Elena Recco appeared, even though the inventories sometimes report them in mistake with the name of the great father Giuseppe.
I report in this regard as a case study, of great historical and artistic interest, a Still Life of fish, extremely close to ours, published by Lucio Galante, in La Natura Morta in Italia, second volume, Electa Milano 1989, p.971, n. 1183, with the name of Giuseppe Recco but in reality an absolute masterpiece of his daughter Elena.
Recco specialized extremely in the genre of fish painting, and our painting appears very significant for the author's typical and distinctive method of mixing images of fish as if they had been thrown in disarray on the fishmonger's counter, waiting to be distributed to the various customers and patrons.
The pictorial material in our case is thick and full-bodied and this too is a peculiar element that characterizes the production of this great, painter who deserves a place in her own right, and of absolute prominence, in the great and lofty history of Still Life in Naples between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. I conclude by noting the state of conservation of the painting examined here as very good and thus confirming its rather high intrinsic quality. I therefore estimate the painting in relation to the current international market conditions at the price of E. 18,000.00 (eighteen thousand).
In faith, Claudio Strinati"
€ 3.900,00
Starting price
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