Still Life with a Basket of Fruit
Still Life with a Basket of Fruit
Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio) (Italian, Baroque, 1571–1610): Still Life with a Basket of Fruit, c. 1596-1601. Oil on canvas, 46 x 64 cm. The Biblioteca Ambrosiana, Milan, Italy.

"This stunning still life (Fig. 6), with trompe l'oeil realism, consists entirely of a basket of fruit. Spike (2001) attributes it to 1596 while Puglosi (1998) assigns it 1601, the same year as Supper at Emmaus, The 1601 date seems more likely to me for a number of reasons ..."

"Just as the figures in Caravaggio's paintings were painted from life, so too were the fruits. Exact in detail they include precise representations of disease symptoms, insect damage, and various abiotic defects ...

A total of at least 17 different fruits are depicted in the standard paintings attributed to Caravaggio, more if some questionable attributions are included. Many are clearly different cultivars and a number show various biotic and abiotic defects. Viewed together, they represent a unique perspective on baroque horticulture between 1592 and 1603."

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