Giovanni Saglier A pair of still life oil paintings

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Giovanni Saglier (active Milan, late 17th century)
A pair of still life oil paintings: Roses, tulips, narcissi, carnations and other flowers in a gilt bronze urn;
Tulips, carnations, morning glory, roses and other flowers in a gilt bronze urn
Oil on canvas 
Each with canvas size: 28 ¼" x 22 ¼"; frame size: 32 ¾" x 27"

 Still lifes achieved the apex of their popularity at the end of the 17th century and early in the 18th, when they became the most favored decorations for the grand residences of Europe.  Giovanni Saglier adapted for Milanese tastes the exuberant bouquets and sculpted vases that were characteristic of Roman baroque flower pieces by Mario de’ Fiori.  Saglier’s favorite repertoire of flowers - deep red carnations, striped tulips and yellow jonquils - are triumphantly present in this important pair of canvases.  The scintillating brush work and rich pigments are unmistakably influenced as well by Giuseppe Vicenzino, who headed the Milanese school of still life painting.

Studies of the still life painter Giovanni Saglier only began in 1989 with an initial publication by Alessandro Morandotti.  Saglier seems to have passed nearly his entire career in the service of Vitaliano VI Borromeo, who employed him in numerous capacities in the decorations of his palace on the Isola Bella in Lake Como from 1660 to 1690.  Fifty still lifes of flowers and fruits by Saglier are listed in the inventory compiled after Borromeo’s death in 1690.  The floral decorations on the walls in the Throne Room and in the Sala della Regina were probably also painted by him.

Saglier’s authorship of these superbly preserved compositions was first recognized by Ulisse Bocchi (Naturaliter, nuovi contributi alla natura morta in Italia settentrionale e Toscana tra XVII e XVIII secolo, 1998) on the basis of comparison with the flower pieces still exhibited at Isola Bella.  "These two canvases can be placed at the pinnacle of his production, in which in addition to the joyous expression, they maintain the artist’s favorite motifs of the tulip’s bursting petals, the reclining rose, and the red carnations crowning the bouquet." 

For more information about this work, or others in the Arader Galleries collection, please contact Alison Petretti at 646.673.4505 or by email