Getty Adds Two Still Lifes by Giacomo Ceruti, a Painter of Poverty
|Giacomo Ceruti, Still Life with Hen and Onion, about 1750-1760. J. Paul Getty Museum|
The Getty Museum has acquired two still lifes by Giacomo Ceruti (1698-1767), known as il Pitocchetto ("the little beggar"). Active in Brescia, Ceruti depicted society's outcasts (and what they ate) with a mixture of sympathy and clinical detachment.
As a still life painter, Ceruti was contemporary with Chardin in France and Meléndez in Spain. According to the Getty label, Ceruti's Hen and Onion shows a white Livornese chicken, "a breed still common in Italy… particularly valued for its high level of egg production.… The attentive rendering of the rigid foot, still wing, and open beak conveys respect, almost sacred significance, to the dead creature."
There are few Ceruti paintings in U.S. museums, and (as far as I can tell) these are the only still lifes. There are figurative subjects by Ceruti in New York, Raleigh, Austin, and Seattle.
The two still lifes are now on view in the Getty Center's South Pavilion, gallery S201.
|Giacomo Ceruti, Still Life with Bread, Salami, and Nuts, about 1750—1760|