attributed to: Domenico Remps
Italian / German, c. 1620 - 1699
Trompe l'oeil Still-Life of a Letter Rack, Nd
Oil on canvas
Gift of Henrietta Roig, mother of Josephine Roig Humphrey, class of 1945
Dimensions: Unframed: 31 7/8 x 46 1/4 in. (80.96 x 117.48 cm)
Signatures, Inscriptions and Markings v
Examined 6/5/06. No further evidence.
Gift to FLLAC from Henrietta Roig, mother of Josephine Roig Humphrey ‘45.
Exhibition History v
Poughkeepsie, FLLAC, Vassar College, “Second Sight: Originality, Duplicity and the Object,” Jan. 14-Apr. 10, 2005.
This is one of a group of paintings of card racks and small objects set against pine cupboards designed to fool the eye by their verisimilitude. They were produced in Italy at the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth centuries by a number of little known artists working in a very similar fashion in cities in central and northern Italy. Among the artists linked to the Vassar painting are Antonio Gianlisi the Younger (Veneto 1677–1727); Christoforo Munari (Reggio Emilia 1667–1720); Domenico Remps (Venice late seventeenth century); Antonio Cioci (Florence ca. 1732–1792); Jacopo Palmieri (Turin 1737–1809). The connections derive from the use of the same medals, prints, drawings, and reliefs, as well as other elements, in two or more of the paintings. For example, the small relief plaque of the putti and the goat on the left of the Vassar painting also appears in one by Cioci, as do other elements such as the eyeglasses hanging on the rack, and the red and black chalk drawing of a head of a woman. The prints by Stefano della Bella also turn up in drawings by Palmieri. The keys, timepieces, similarly addressed letters and the staple of trompe l’oeil—the simulated housefly resting on the plaster medallion portraying Glaucus and Scylla — occur in many of these works. In the Vassar painting, there are a number of references to Florence and the Medici, including the appearance of the prints by Stefano della Bella and Jacques Callot, who both worked for the Medici, as well as the plaster medallion in the lower left depicting Francesco de’ Medici (1614–1634), who died of disease at the age of twenty fighting in the Thirty Years’ War. The other medallions portray, in the lower right, Louis XIV of France (1638–1715), the grandson of Marie de’ Medici, and, in the upper right, Cosimo III de’ Medici (1642–1723).