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Luigi Bechi (Italian, 1830-1919)
Luigi Bechi (Italian, 1830-1919)

Deux petits Ciociari

Details
Luigi Bechi (Italian, 1830-1919)
Deux petits Ciociari
signed 'L Bechi' (lower left)
oil on canvas
138 x 100.3 cm.
Provenance
with Louis Pisani, Florence.
Anonymous sale; Bonhams, New York, 21 October 2008, lot 95 ($ 132,000).

Brought to you by

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, who was known for his boldness in drawing and strength of color, and Enrico Polastrini, who was an imaginative genre painter.

In the Italian wars in 1859 and 1866 Bechi fought bravely for independence from Austria; He was wounded and taken prisoner in Bezzecca in the later year. Between the wars 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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