Federico Andreotti achieved enormous popularity in his lifetime as a painter of figures, mostly women, in meticulously detailed 17th and 18th Century costumes inspired by his fascination with the elegant furnishings and dress of the 18th Century. He studied at the Academy of Art in Florence, his hometown, training under Enrico Pollastrini and Marco Tricca, but often combined newer impressionistic techniques with his classical training, imbuing his paintings with a more romantic, less exacting ambiance. He achieved an international reputation, exhibiting at the Royal Academy in London between 1879 and 1883, and his paintings were sought after by American as well as European collectors. He built up a prestigious clientele, and one of his most important patrons was the King of Italy who commissioned a large historical painting of Savanorola from the artist.
Andreotti was born only a year before the continent-wide upheavals of 1848, and was a young man when Italy was finally united in 1861. The tumult of this period and the growing impact of the industrial revolution on Italy and Europe at the time led to a fascination with the aristocratic culture of pre-revolutionary Europe. Andreotti, and his contemporary audience, looked back with nostalgia at the earlier century as a time of elegance and taste, which contrasted sharply with their own bourgeois society. As a result, the decades spanning the 1870s to the late 1890s saw a sharp rise in the popularity of romantic, country scenes such as the one depicted in Welcomed Attention.
Adreotti's figures, predominantly young and beautiful women, are usually either contemplating romance or are occupied with joy. His attention to the details of his work, particularly to the costumes and the flowers, enhance the pleasurable sensibility of his pictures. The backdrop of Welcomed Attention is a softly-painted country scene, adding to the figures' easy grace and charm, while the bright blue of the young lady's skirt adds a vibrancy and liveliness to the sleepy village. Her blushing youthfulness is carefully echoed and accentuated by the delicate pinks in her dress and the flowers in her hair. Despite her apparent innocence, her pleasure at the attention of the handsome youth is obvious and her happiness is contagious, immediately affecting all those who see her.
We would like to thank Marco Bertoli for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.