Oil on canvas, 32cm by 21cm. In a carved and gilded frame.
The Burghley Inventory of 1763, in the distinctive hand of Brownlow, 9th Earl of Exeter (1725-1793), records: ‘two flower pieces by Maria De Fioria.’
Mario de’ Fiori (1603-1673), working in Rome, was one of the first Italian artists to specialise in still life painting of flowers.
However, there is now some uncertainty as to whether the 1763 attribution is correct.
It has been suggested that an attribution may be given to Nicolas de Largillière (1656-1746) who is thought to have painted a small number of still lifes whilst working in England as an assistant to Antonio Verrio (1636-1707).
Verrio worked extensively at Burghley from 1686-1697.
It is entirely feasible that Largillière may have been responsible for the still life elements of Verrio’s ceilings at Burghley.
Largillière later became a noted portrait painter in his native France.