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Golden light from the upper left illuminates an assortment of vegetables, fish, and live and dead animals arranged among kitchen pots, pans, and bowls in this vertical still life painting. The animals and objects are displayed on three levels, each of which takes up about a third of the composition. Starting at the top: the body of a light brown hare lies over the front edge of a stone ledge, which is draped with a rumpled forest-green, gold-edged cloth. A large golden-brown fowl hangs upside down, its feet tied and the string looped over a nail on the dark brown wall behind the still life. The fowl’s cream-white wings are outstretched, and its head rests along the hare’s body. Five birds with feathers of golden yellow, white, black, and apple red lie in a pile to the left of the hare. A live peacock stands on the green cloth to the right, looking down at the other animals. Its long, caramel-brown tail is closed and is dotted with eyes that look like shiny black buttons. The next level down is made up of a short barrel next to a small wooden stool or table. A butterscotch-brown rooster is perched on the barrel among red onions. A copper bowl overflowing with dark green artichokes and leafy greens sits on the stool to our right. The bottom zone has objects and animals across the ginger-brown floor. To our left, a chicken or rooster stands facing away from us as it looks to our right toward a tall, sealed jug and two dark brown pots. Just behind the pots a gleaming copper bowl is propped up at an angle so we see coral-pink fish inside. The bowl leans against a lustrous brass basin and jug with a duck standing in front of it. A radish, lemon, a couple more fish, and two lobsters lie on the floor or are tucked between the pans and bowls. The space opens onto another dimly lit room beyond the still life, in the upper right corner of the painting. In that room, a woman wearing a long skirt and a white cap is backlit against a rectangular window opening filled with pale blue sky. A spark of orange to our left could be a fire on a raised hearth or stove.

Anton Maria Vassallo, The Larder, probably c. 1650/1660, oil on canvas, Samuel H. Kress Collection, 1961.9.91

Canceled—Introduction to the Exhibition—A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750

Lectures and Book Signings

Lectures and Book Signings

  • Sunday, May 31, 2020
  • 2:00 p.m.
  • East Building Auditorium
  • In-person

This program held in conjunction with the exhibition A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750 is postponed.

Jonathan Bober, Andrew W. Mellon Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art

By the 17th century, Genoa was the banking center of Europe. Its functioning republican government and enormous wealth enabled artists and their patrons to create a singularly rich and beautiful expression of baroque style, with works of extraordinary material sumptuousness, visual splendor, and exuberant feeling. The landmark exhibition A Superb Baroque: Art in Genoa, 1600–1750 brings together some 140 paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, drawings, and prints for the first major presentation of the Genoese baroque the United States. The exhibition is on view at the National Gallery of Art from May 3 through August 16, 2020. In this lecture Jonathan Bober will introduce the exhibition.

A signing of the exhibition catalog follows.