Francisco de Zurbarán (Fuente de Cantos, Badajoz 1598-1664 Madrid) Still Life of Lent Oil on canvas 62.5 x 82.5 cm Provenance: private collection, Madrid, Spain; collection of Cardinal Despuig (1745-1813), Palacio de Montenegro, Palma de Mallorca [inv. n° 71]; Truyols collection (from 1972), Palma de Mallorca
Francisco de Zurbarán, one of the foremost figures of the Spanish Baroque is renowned for his masterful works. Among them, "Still Life of Lent" stands as a testament to his artistic genius. In this intriguing composition, Zurbarán skillfully brings to life a multitude of objects emerging from the shadows of an enigmatic, undefined background- captivating the viewer in the interplay of light.
This masterpiece, dating back to the 1600s, has a fascinating history. It was once part of the esteemed collection of Antonio Despuig Dameto (1745-1813), the son of the Count and Countess of Montenegro y Montoro. During the tumultuous era of Napoleon's annexation of the Pontifical States to the French Empire, Despuig faced arrest and was transported to Paris, leaving behind this remarkable artwork. Astonishingly, "Still Life of Lent" remained within the Despuig family's collection throughout the centuries. Through intensive scientific examination, Zurbarán's hidden signature beneath layers of the canvas has been uncovered, offering us a unique glimpse into Zurbarán's mastery and the rich historical tapestry that surrounds it.