Michele Antonio Rapous (Turin, 1733 – Turin, 1819)
Still life of flowers with an arch frame
Oil on canvas, 137×119 cm
The activity of Michele Antonio Rapous from Turin takes place entirely in *Savoy area and strongly imbued with the best European Rococo tradition, and so he trained in the workshop of his brother Vittorio Amedeo, where he immediately specialized in the production of flower vases and architecture, a genre that easily met the taste of the Turin client of the time .
In 1758 he was called to create some decorations at the palace of Venaria, hired by Duke of Chiablese and from there he will become in great demand by the city bourgeoisie, lover of the light, dynamic and precious kind of still life of flowers; what clearly emerges from this work is the lesson drawn from the French rocaille, which makes the representation disengaged, without sacrificing the pictorial quality.
In fact, lightness does not mean neglect and the painter, in this pictorial test, demonstrates a great capacity for compositional balance and in the rendering of colors, as well as attention to the pictorial thickness of his palette, which make it a sumptuous work.
Bibl.: L. Salerno, La natura morta italiana (1560-1805), Roma, 1984, p. 326; A. Griseri, La natura morta in Piemonte, in La natura morta in Italia, a cura di F. Porzio, Milano 1989, pp. 149-195
* To decorate the refined interiors of Turin’s palaces, a school of still life was developed in the mid-eighteenth century, whose leader is Michele Antonio Rapos. The artist was born in Turin in 1733 and died there in 1819; he was the brother of the more famous Vittorio Amedeo and specialized in the genre of still lifes, meeting the favor of both the Savoy court, which often engaged him for the Venaria Reale, Stupinigi, the Royal Palace of Turin, and the subalpine nobility.
The original Rapos still lifes have peculiar characteristics, which make them easily identifiable; among the fruits, as in Stupinigi, golden clusters of grapes, peaches, plums, pomegranates, cherries prevail; among the flowers, often gathered in aerial wicker baskets or in large monumental vases, one can admire roses, large peonies, carnations, tulips. The architectural elements, then … (see Giamblanco 2015 Catalog)
Our reference: B00599