(b. ca. 1530, Cremona, d. 1591, Cremona)
Fruit and Vegetable Seller1583
Oil on canvas, 141 x 216 cm
In this large painting, Vincenzo Campi renders one of his most recognizable and classic subjects: a young fruit and vegetable seller surrounded by her wares. It is a variation on the artist's celebrated Fruit Seller (Fruttivendola) in the Pinacoteca di Brera. The present composition is filled with a new array of produce and is animated with differing characters, most notably the young man at left with an amusingly contorted face and a finger in his ear. Yet, just like the version in Brera, Campi has anchored this scene with a beautiful female, setting her slightly off centre within a foreground teeming with baskets of goods and placing her before a landscape within which two figures are gathering fruit from the branches of a tree that rises along edge of the painting.
Signed and dated 1583, this is a mature work by Vincenzo Campi that exemplifies the types of naturalistic, and sometimes humorous, genre scenes he turned to after the 1570s.