Farewell to fall with Giovanna Garzoni’s still lifes

Winter – which in poet Bernardo Tasso’s words “in white snow / dresses hills, covers roses, / and makes beaches dry and sad again” – is about to begin!

We bid farewell to the fall, until next year, with a selection of still lifes by Giovanna Garzoni, a painter and miniaturist from Marche (Ascoli Piceno, 1600-Rome, between 10 and 15 February 1670).

Garzoni was one of the few woman artists of the 17th century who had the opportunity to travel – which she did extensively in her first fifty years, visiting Naples, Venice, Turin and Florence. Traveling allowed her to perfect her technical abilities and to appreciate works she would never have seen otherwise.

She painted still lifes as well as allegorical, mythological and religious subjects.

American art historian Jane Fortune has said Garzoni used watercolor and gouaches on vellum or parchment, rather than oils, producing remarkably luminous works, and her use of color is nothing short of dazzling. Those who believe that art can truly soothe the soul should keep Garzoni’s refined imagery on hand. […] Garzoni was so successful during her lifetime that she could ask virtually any price for her commissioned works. (“Invisible women. Forgotten artist of Florence”, Florentine Press, Florence 2010).

After moving to Rome in 1652, Garzoni became a member of the Accademia Nazionale di San Luca, to whom she left all her works and property when she died in 1670.


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