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  • NameGiovanni Paolo Spadino
  • Sexmale
  • Nationality/DatesItalian, born 1659, dead after 1730
BiographyGiovanni Paolo Castelli was one of probably
three artists of the same family, established in
Rome and specializing in still lifes, who were all
known by the sobriquet of “lo Spadino”. Giovanni
Paolo was an associate of Abraham Brueghel.
In 1686 he inherited the family workshop from
his elder brother Bartolomeo, including both
unfinished canvases and clients. Amongst the
prominent clients commissioning works from
Spadino in the ensuing years were Prince Filippo
Corsini of Florence and Cardinal Flavio Chigi
(1631–1693). An inventory from 1715 of the collections
of Prince Giacomo Capece Zurlo of Naples
lists eight small works by Spadino, showing
that his paintings were also in demand outside
of Rome. According to Luigi Salerno, the most
important works by Spadino are the 21 paintings,
including The Elegant Refreshment dated 1701, in
the Roccamadoro Ramelli collection in Fermo.
Other prominent works referred to by Salerno
are, for example, a group in the city museum at
Montefortino, a signed canvas dated 1703 in the
Musei Capitolini, Rome, and four paintings in
the Galleria Spada in Rome. Spadino seems to
have been quite strongly influenced by Flemish
still-life painters, perhaps chiefly due to his
association with Brueghel. In fact, the still lifes
painted by these artists are quite close in style
and subject matter, and on several occasions
there have been mistaken attributions between
them. Yet Spadino’s still lifes must be considered
of a characteristic Roman kind. Although his
works are influenced to some extent by a clear
and distinct “hyperrealism” that is Caravaggesque
and typically Neapolitan – perhaps infused
and adapted through his study of the work
of the Roman still-life painter Pietro Paolo Bonzi
(1576–1636) – they are always rendered with an
altogether softer touch.
Still Life with Fruit and Landscape
Still Life with Fruit
Still Life with Fruit