LUIGI CROSIO (ITALIAN, 1835-1915) ANTIQUE PAINTING OF A CLASSICAL FIGURE IN POMPEII INTERIOR
In oil on panel, signed lower left "L. Crosio 1877"
Item # 411RLX15P
This is a very striking interior scene by Italian artist Luigi Crosio, capturing a Roman woman as she stares out an open doorway at the Pompeiian architecture of the courtyard. She is exquisitely dressed with flowing robes of green and cream over a white tunic, her right arm cradling a finely detailed vase with flowers and foliage springing from the top; between her fingers is balanced a thin staff. Her natural beauty is augmented only by a thin band of red ribbon twisted through her hair and a double-band of pearls on her left arm. The quality of the image is noteworthy, her figure expertly handled with a soft balance of realism with a certain dreamy quality enjoyed in the scene. The colors are of such vibrance and depth that the image feels very much alive, having been carefully conserved at some point in the last decade. The crack in the lower-middle quadrant of the painting is rather fortunately isolated to the folds of her robe, where it does not distract from any important element of the scene. The painting is signed and dated lower left.
The same painting, though with some slight variation in elements (a hanging chandelier visible past the doorway) and of different dimensions was offered at Sotheby's, London in 1996, achieving a price of $4,669. For any serious collector of late nineteenth century Romanticism, this is a precious little work that encapsulates the period: the longing for a simpler and less complex moment is projected in Crosio's rendering of this young woman, holding onto the material culture of her present while looking for something more. The objects at hand are at odds with one another - a walking stick with the curious vase in hand, as if she is deciding between bringing beauty to her home or stepping out into the world.
Measurements: [frame] 17 9/16" W x 21 9/16" H; [sight] 9 1/2" W x 13 5/8" H
Approximately 4 1/4" crack in panel lower-middle quad. Under UV: milky green cast from recent varnish; touch ups to crack; touch up left of staff base lower-middle quad; touchups to face (chin, eyelashes, nose), two spots of inpaint to upper-left quad; some flaring to pigment in her cheeks, neck and arm. Light edge wear around panel.