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The fish stall
16th Century
The fish stall
[La Pescheria]
Oil on canvas
112 x 152 cm  [HxW]
Galleria Nazionale di Arte Antica di Palazzo Barberini, Roma

We have come across an entertaining exchange between the fishmonger and the woman who appears to be questioning him about the globe fish she holds. Turtles escape from the basket while dead fish, maybe sturgeon and catfish, and a lobster hold centre stage. The cat is alert to opportunities. This delightful painting of everyday life in Bologna is part of a strong stream of realism in Italian genre painting but may also harbour a moral message.

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