By Livia Lupi

Painter Evaristo Baschenis was born in Bergamo on 7 December 1617. The Baschenis family were painters and Evaristo cultivated painting and drawing along with his studies to become a priest.

Evaristo became accomplished both in the painting of figures and still life, and many of his works might still be hiding in private houses in Brescia and Bergamo. Two important paintings feature in the Agliardi collection in Bergamo. The first one is a self-portrait of Baschenis playing the spinet (a kind of harpsichord) with Count Agliardi, while the second represents two young men with instruments and books. These works among many others showcase Baschenis’ ability in the representation of textiles, from curtains to floor rugs, but also emphasise his interest in the aesthetic appeal of musical instruments. This innovative kind of still life, characterised by textiles of various types and above all by musical instruments, was imitated by many artists whose names are lost but for the Bergamo artists Bartolomeo Bettera and his son Bonaventura.

Baschenis became a priest at some point between 1640 and 1643. He travelled to Rome in 1650 and was able to dedicate most of his time to painting since his family were financially comfortable. 

In the 1650s he met Jacques Courtois, also known as Borgognone, who was working in Bergamo at the time. The two artists became friends and Baschenis copied several of Courtois’s works for local patrons. However, Baschenis’s most prestigious commission was a series of paintings for the monastery of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. Unfortunately most of these works are lost.

Baschenis died in Bergamo on 16 March 1677.

Reference: Luigi Angelini. “Baschenis, Evaristo.” Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani. Enciclopedia Treccani.

See also: F.M. Tassi. Vite de’ pittori bergamaschi. Bergamo, 1793.

Further reading: 

Andrea Bayer. Still Lifes of Evaristo Baschenis: The Music of Silence. Olivares, 2000.

Marco Abate, ed. Evaristo Baschenis e la natura morta in Europa. Bergamo: Accademia Carrara, 1996.

Self-portrait Playing the Spinet with Ottavio Agliardi Playing the Archlute, c. 1665. Oil on canvas. Casa Agliardi, Bergamo.

Kitchen, c. 1660. Oil on canvas. Private collection.

Still Life with Musical Instruments, c. 1670. Oil on canvas. Musée Royaux des Beaux Arts de Belgique.

Young Boy with Bread Basket, c. 1660. Oil on canvas. Private collection.

Still Life with Musical Instruments and Brocade, c. 1650

Bonaventura Bettera, Still Life with Musical Instruments, c. 1700. Private collection.

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2 thoughts on “Painter Evaristo Baschenis was Born in Bergamo on 7 December 1617.

  1. I had had a painting for 50 plus years. My dad was given from a dear friend of his. I man (Al) had told my dad to sell and he would not have money worries.

    It was passed down in Al’s family since his great, great, great, great grandfather and he Al had no children and loved my dad. very much.
    My dad chuckled, under his breath and brought with him, when he came back Iowa to visit. My dad told me what Al said to him and thought it might be having memory problems, Al was 92.

    In November of 2021, I sent a picture and asked a website named just asked how much they thought the painting was worth. . I did not hear back and forgot about it.

    A week or so ago, my ex fiancé inquired about the painting and put everything in his name without my permission. He was to use my name.

    Upon researching again I found that just ask had replied and valued it at around $3000,000 to $5,000,000.

    The painting was done by Evensto Bascheni. Could you please let me know the current value of it. I would like to sell it. I do not see where I can send the pictures.

    What i fine interesting is out of all of his painting’s this is the only one that has a face on the music sheets. I am wondering if it is him.

    Please let me know your thoughts and feedback as to the value and if that is indeed him on the painting.

    Margaret J Purdy
    515–9 43–7936 (mobile number)

  2. Dear Margaret,

    Unfortunately we don’t provide valuation appraisals for artworks. However, I would suggest that you contact a reputable auction house as many provide free appraisals.

    All best wishes and good luck!

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