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Exhibitions and Projects
Revelations | 7 Sep. 2023 – 4 Oct. 2023

Revelations: Three Bouquets of Flowers, Spanish School

Timeless and fragrant, the bouquets are composed of flowers that do not bloom at the same time. In a mixed arrangement we find late-winter hollyhocks, spring daffodils and tulips, May lilies, lilies of the valley, peonies, June roses, carnations, dahlias and jasmine. In the bouquet on the left of the painting there are some flowers that achieved the depicted look with the help of the painter's imagination.

The type of bouquets, the shaping of the flowers, the presence of insects and birds all point to an inspiration from Italian floral still-lifes of the first quarter of the 17th century. Despite the Italian source, the overall impression of the painting and some of the details suggest the Spanish school. Although the painter is unknown and the style is not sufficiently distinctive to be associated with any known painter, it can be seen that it is in many ways reminiscent of the still lifes of Juan van der Hamn y Léon (1596–1631) and Pedro de Camprobín (1605–1674). The still life stands out for its dramatic lighting and the detailed subjects painted. The artist's confident use of chiaroscuro allows for powerful contrasts of light and dark, with darkness becoming the dominant feature of the painting, revealing the direct influence of the Tenebrist Baroque. The technique was developed to add drama and is common in Spanish Baroque paintings, and this still life presents formal characteristics that still correspond to the transition between the naturalism of the early 17th century and the full-blown Baroque of the second half of this century.

7 September – 4 October 2023
National Gallery of Slovenia
Prešernova 24
1000 Ljubljana