This work closely follows the painting by Jan Davidsz. de Heem, datable to 1651, today in the Collection of the Prince of Liechtenstein, Vaduz. Although Van Son has replicated the principal elements found in De Heem's composition, this painting is by no means a direct copy. Van Son has included his own notable additions, such as the Red Admiral butterfly above the grapes, and, most significantly, the vanitas still life, upper left.
The Palazzo Carrega-Cataldi has a distinguished history. Built in 1558-61 by Tobia Pallavicino, a member of one of the wealthiest Genoese Renaissance families, the palace overlooks the Strada Nuova, the main thoroughfare in Genoa (today known as the Via Garibaldi). Rubens illustrated the building in his treatise 'Palazzi di Genova' in 1622. In 1704 the palazzo was purchased by Filippo Carrega, who expanded the building and carried out much interior renovation and decoration, including the famously sumptuous Rococo interior of the 'Galleria Dorata. The Carrega family sold the palazzo to the noble Cataldi family in 1830, ancestors of the previous owner, and in 1922 the entire building was acquired by the Genoese Chamber of Commerce.
Baronessa Anna Cataldi, great-grandmother of the previous owner, Palazzo Carrega-Cataldi, Genoa;
By inheritance to the previous owner