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Luigi Bechi (Florence 1830-1919)
Playtime
signed 'L Bechi' (lower left)
oil on canvas
139 x 105 cm.

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Kimberley Oldenburg
Kimberley Oldenburg

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Lot Essay

Born in Florence, Luigi Bechi is an excellent example of the 19th Century Italian school of peasant painters. Bechi studied at the Academy of Modern Art in Florence under the guidance of Giuseppe Bezzuoli (1784-1855), who was known for his boldness in drawing and strength of colour, and Enrico Pollastrini (1817-1876), who was an imaginative genre painter. He became an ardent supporter of the artistic group Macchiaioli, the Italian circle which followed the new trend toward plein-air realism. Initially a painter of historical subjects, Bechi later concentrated on story-like subjects, such as can be seen in this work. He began to use the local peasant children as models in their own character and these became his favorite topics.

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