26 June 2007
Giuseppe de Nittis (Italian, 1846-1884)
oil on canvas
37 3/8 x 29½ in. (95 x 75 cm.)
Private collection, Rome.
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P. Dini and G. L. Marini, De Nittis: La vita, i documenti, le opere dipinte, volume I, Turin, 1990, p. 406 and volume II, no. 733 (illustrated).
The present work bears close comparison with the later portraiture of Giovanni Boldini (see lot 151) in which the sitter's carefully modelled features are given added emphasis by the contrast with the more vigorous, but less defined background brushwork.
De Nittis worked in Paris and in London and was, like Boldini, immensely successful, moving in the highest artistic and social circles. The artist's fame, however, rested less exlusively on portraiture than his compatriot and he created numerous portraits - both private commissions and studies of feminine beauty - in which the sitter's identity remains unknown.
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