By Martina Tanga

The late-Baroque painter Cristoforo Munari was born on this day in 1667. Also known as Cristoforo Monari, his specialty was sumptuous still life paintings of decorative porcelains, translucent glassware, and delectable foods. Munari was born in Reggio nell’Emilia, and his first patron was Rinaldo d’Este, Duke of Modena. Munari’s subject matter belongs to the Emilian school of painting, which is known for its detailed representation of musical instruments casually arranged next to fruits and domestic utensils. At the beginning of the 1700s he left his hometown for Rome, before settling in Florence in 1706 for about a decade. There, he created his best-known paintings for the Grand Prince Ferdinand de’ Medici.

Libri, porcellane cinesi, vassoio di frutta, bauletto, vasetto di fiori e teiera su tavolo coperto da tovaglia rossa, c. 1703-06, oil on canvas, Fondazione Manodori, Reggio Emilia, Italy

Still life with musical instruments and fruits, c. 1707-15, oil on canvas, Uffizi Gallery, Florence

Earthenware, cabbage, pork shoulder and plate with knife dishes , pottery clay and pewter, c. 1710s, oil on canvas, Fondazione Manodori, Reggio Emilia, Italy

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