Lot Content

Global notice COVID-19 Important notice
Filippo (Peppino) Maenza (c. 1825-after 1860)
Filippo (Peppino) Maenza (c. 1825-after 1860)

Portrait of Dante Gabriel Rossetti seated in an arm-chair

Details
Filippo (Peppino) Maenza (c. 1825-after 1860)
Portrait of Dante Gabriel Rossetti seated in an arm-chair
inscribed by William Michael Rossetti 'See Inscription on Frame - Peppino/was the son of the Maenza who/housed Dante G. Rossetti in/Boulogne. This Portrait was always/regarded in The Family as little better/than a caricature, yet it is not totally/unlike' (on a label attached to the backboard)
pencil, on paper
8¾ x 7½ in. (22.2 x 19 cm.)
Provenance
Given by the artist to Mrs Gabriele Rossetti in December 1844.
Christina Rossetti by 1889.
William Michael Rossetti and by descent in his family to the present owner.
Literature
William Michael Rossetti, 'The Portraits of Dante Gabriel Rossetti - I', Magazine of Art, 1889, p. 23.
William Michael Rossetti, Dante Gabriel Rossetti: His Family Letters with a Memoir, London, 1895, vol. 2, pp. 23, 25.
William E. Fredeman (ed.), The Correspondence of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Cambridge, 2002- , vol. I, pp. 33-4 (note 6).

Brought to you by

Antonia Vincent
Antonia Vincent Administrator

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

Condition Report

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

Peppino Maenza was the only son of Giuseppe Maenza, a teacher of Italian and painting who lived in Boulogne. For health reasons Rossetti visited the family in the autumn of 1843 and the winter of 1844, forming a close friendship with Peppino, who was a few years his senior. It was Peppino who encouraged his interest in French illustrators like Garvarni and Tony Johannot, who so profoundly influenced his early style.

The drawing shows Rossetti at the age of fifteen. It was made in November 1843 and 'begged' by the sitter for his mother when he returned to Boulogne the following winter. William Michael Rossetti described it at length in an article on portraits of his brother published in the Magazine of Art in 1889 and again in his biography of the artist that followed in 1895. 'It is drawn', he wrote, 'in a dark "blocky" manner ... Rossetti here looks gaunt and uncouth, a hobbledehoy with no girth of chest or shoulder, with blubber lips and almost a quadroon type face; not stupid, but so wanting in finesse as to approach the stolid ... The family always considered it a caricature'. In 2002 the editors of Rossetti's correspondence wrote that the drawing had 'never been reproduced' and seemed to have 'disappeared'.

After showing much early promise, Peppino fizzled out as an artist, took himself off to Australia and disappeared. Rossetti was trying to raise money for his benefit in 1860.

More from Victorian & British Impressionist Pictures Including Drawings and Watercolours

View All
View All