HIEPES, Tomás
(b. ca. 1610, Valencia, d. 1674, Valencia)

Biography

Tomás Hiepes (Yepes), Spanish painter. He is recorded as living and working in Valencia from 1643, achieving local fame in his lifetime for his still-life and flower paintings. In a comparatively early pair of small still-lifes with figs and grapes, signed and dated 1649 (both Madrid, Prado), the fruits are delicately painted and depicted with an almost botanical exactitude reminiscent of still-lifes from northern Europe. Hiepes's last known work, Still-life with Basket of Bread (1668, Madrid, Prado), typifies the style he used for large and elaborate pictures. It is characterized by studied effects of strong, direct lighting and pronounced shadows. Although the painting recalls contemporary Neapolitan still-lifes in subject-matter and composition, Hiepes's careful depiction of the details of objects and his meticulous technique contrast with the broad brushwork of Neapolitan artists and his Valencian contemporary Miguel March.

Hiepes's curious flower paintings are among his most beautiful works. The Vase of Carnations (private collection) illustrates his highly personal interest in the simplified and symmetrical presentation of his subject-matter, in sharp contrast to the flower-pieces of his contemporaries in Madrid. This work also shows the artist's refined sense of colour, his subtle arrangement of the bouquet and concentration on details of the blooms.