36 East 73rd Street New York City, NY 10021 United States 212.517.9176
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$ 21,000

A Peach with Two Strawberry Vines

Origin Italy
Period 18th Century
Materials Tempera paintings on parchment
W. 8.5 in; H. 7.25 in;
W. 21.59 cm; H. 18.42 cm;
Description Dimensions Framed: 11 ¼” x 13” (28.6 cm x 33 cm)

Teresa Berenice Vitelli was a nun with the order of Santa Apollonia documented in Florence between 1706-1729. The latter date corresponds to an exhibition organized by the Academy of drawing (Accademia del disegno) at the cloister of Santissima Annunziata, where the name of Sgnra. Veronica Vitelli is mentioned. The earlier date, 1706, instead, is noted on a small-signed parchment of a parrot, a titmouse and two lizards, sent to the Villa di Poggio Imperiale, and successively to the Galleria Palatinia, at the Pitti Palace in Florence.
The fame of this artist endured until the early 19th century when the Abbess of the monastery of Santa Apollonia asked for the return of many of Vitelli’s paintings, which had been dispersed, when convents were suppressed. It was at the court of the Medici that Teresa Berenice Vitelli spent her entire artistic career working primarily for Violante of Bavaria, the consort of Gran Principe Ferdinando. From the Villa di Lappeggi, a Medici residence from 1569, there were pastel copies made by Vitelli of Rembrandt, which were ordered by the Tuscan rulers.
In mid-eighteenth century Florentine circles, paintings from nature were not a sporadic achievement of the local production. Vitelli’s “nature” subjects by contributed to the dignity of this type of work. She was certainly influenced by the work of Giovanna Garzoni. Vitelli’s works show a profound knowledge of nature, but particularly demonstrates her desire to create lovely compositions to decorate the walls of the Medici Villas.
The finesse of her touch, the refinement and the coloration of these two paintings are typical of the period and of Vitelli’s work. The songbird – of a group called “inseperabili di fischer” in Italian, is a symbol of purity and innocence. Exotic, rare and costly birds also often allude to the social status of the patron. The painting of bees and flies, according to an antique precept in medieval medicine also represent a sort of prevention against the possibility that, in their place, real insects could alight. The frames are original to the works.
Styles / Movements Old Master
Dealer Reference Number WOP 18-10002
Incollect Reference Number 152131
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