Roberto Bompiani (Italian, 1821-1908)
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Roberto Bompiani (Italian, 1821-1908)

Lady with a fan

Roberto Bompiani (Italian, 1821-1908)
Lady with a fan
signed ' Bompiani' (lower left)
oil on canvas
53 5/8 x 32 ¾ in. (136.2 x 83.2 cm.)
F. de Filippi and al., Le Belle Arti a Torino. Lettere sulla IV Esposizione Nazionale, Milan, 1880, p. 126.
Turin, Esposizione Nazionale di Belle Arti, 1880.
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Lot Essay

Roberto Bompiani began his artistic training at the Accademia di San Luca in Rome aged fifteen, and went on during a prolific career to exhibit around the world, including at the Universal Exhibition in Vienna (1872) and the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia (1876). He also spent nine months in London as Papal Representative for the Great Exhibition of 1862.

He later became Professor and then Director of his old alma mater in Rome, conveying his passion for art to his son, Augusto, who also became a painter.
Nicknamed “the Italian Bouguereau", for his pictures of religious and mythological subjects which were evocative of the great French Academic artist, Bompiani was also known as a history and portrait painter who frequently represented members of the Italian aristocracy, such as the Borghese family.

The elegant sitter in the present lot is portrayed against a neutral background, emphasizing the vibrant blue tones of her floral dress. Fashionably attired, with feathered hat and fan, she strikes a delicate, almost coquettish, balance between demureness and confidence.

When exhibited at the Esposizione di Belle Arti in Turin in 1880, the present painting was highly praised. It was described as 'very well conceived and extremely elegant', with emphasis was given to the 'subtle rendering of the Lady's accessories and jewels'.

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