| Still-lifes (Natura morta) |

Antonio Tibaldi (1635-1675)

Still-lifes (Natura morta)

Antonio Tibaldi (1635-1675)
c. 1655-1675
61.5 x 78.5 cm
Oil on canvas
Mediterranean Gallery – Signs and Tales
These two compositions are an example of ‘natura morta’ in which an array of precious items is arranged for scenic effect. The cluttered placement of the objects is synonymous with the style of the 17th-century Italian artist, Antonio Tibaldi, who gained recognition for the meticulous detail he dedicated to the surface detail of objects. He indulged in filling his canvases with as many items as possible to create a highly rich and dazzling display, representing material wealth. Still-life paintings characteristically embody abstract ideas through objects. The mantelpiece clock in one of the paintings is a form of 'memento mori', signifying that time passes for all, regardless of affluence and power. In the other painting, ceremonial pieces of armour and various military paraphernalia perhaps glorify war as a status symbol.


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