Nicola van Houbraken

Artist (Italy)
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Nicola van Houbraken (1660 - 1723), as his name suggests, was of Flemish origin, although his family had established themselves in the Sicilian port city of Messina. His father Ettore was also a still life painter, and Nicola followed him in his choice of subject matter. He appears to have left Sicily for Livorno as a child, possibly in 1674 at the time of the Messinese uprising against the occupying Spanish. Nicola spent the rest of his life in Tuscany, where he found a ready audience for his varied and sometimes witty form of still life painting.1 Given the inscription on the present painting, it must have been one of a number of similar canvases, making up a series representing the twelve months. [source]