PORPORA, Paolo
(b. 1617, Napoli, d. 1670s, Roma or Napoli)

Biography

Italian painter. He is documented as a pupil of Giacomo Recco in 1632, aged 15, and he followed Recco in becoming a specialist in still-lifes of fruit and flower subjects. According to Dominici, he also assisted in Aniello Falcone's workshop. Few of his works can be dated with certainty, and only one is signed: Flowers (private collection).

In the 1650s he moved to Rome, where he is documented at the Accademia di S Luca from 1656 to 1658, and came in contact with artists from northern Europe, specifically the Netherlanders Otto Marseus van Schrieck and Mathias Withoos, who were there from 1652 to 1656. The results can be seen in the two paintings entitled Woodland Scene (both Naples, Banco di Napoli) and in the Woodland Scene with Flamingo (Paris, Louvre), which depart in both subject and style from the usual scope of contemporary Italian still-life painting. Closer to the traditions of Neapolitan flower painting are his numerous pictures, some quite sizeable, of arrangements of fruit and flowers (e.g. Flowers with a Crystal Goblet and Flowers with Fruit and a Pumpkin, both Naples, Capodimonte). These are wholly Baroque in manner, in the style of Mario dei Fiori from Rome or the Flemish Abraham Brueghel, who worked in Naples and Rome.