Triple Arrangement with Pink Peonies, Roses and Carnations
Giuseppe Volò called Vicenzino
( Milano, 1662 - Milano, 1700 )
Oil on canvas, 73x97 cm
« From Light to Enlightenment » : Italian old master paintings from 16th to 18th centuries, Shanghai Art Museum, China, 12 - 17 November 2005.
« From Light to Enlightenment » : Italian old master paintings from 16th to 18th centuries, Exhibition catalogue, Shanghai Art Museum, China, 12 - 17 November 2005, n 32.
This canvas is an exercise in elegant decoration : it is horizontal and presents a profusion of flowers arranged on two surfaces : above, our eye is attracted by an arrangement with deep pink peonies, while a metal vase to the right contains red carnations and double white roses. Below, in the centre foreground, more pink peonies and large white roses are displayed. Tulips appear here and there.
Far more than they do today, people were aware of the symbolism of individual flowers (the rose is sacred to Venus), as well as their price (a tulip is more valuable and rare than a carnation) – but these paintings were not made for symbolic purposes ; rather, they were (and still remain) exuberant expressions of nature, and for those who owned them they represented a celebration of the floral world within a domestic interior.