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By Paoletti, Antonio Ermolao (Italian, 1834-1912)
This charming genre painting is by Antonio Ermolao Paoletti, a leading painter of the daily life of Venice active in that city during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The painting depicts a scene at the edge of the Canale di San Marco. A young boy has caught an eel with a fishing rod, which he waves in front of a mother and her daughter—while the daughter hides her head in fear, her mother winces and tears up in fright. The canal side is littered with mundane objects, including a basket of fish, and sewing needles. The background and middle ground are defined by a hazed horizon and idly floating boats.
Paoletti’s painterly style is superb: fluid, flowing brushstrokes are used in combination with precise, delicate ones, to create a visually and texturally appealing painted surface. Moreover, the subdued, sombre colour palette employed by Paoletti grants the picture a sense of atmosphere.
The painting is contained by an ornate carved giltwood frame and is signed lower right ‘Antonio Paoletti fu Giov_ni / Venezia’. The frame is titled bottom centre ‘Catching A Farter / A. Paoletti’.
Antonio Ermolao Paoletti was a leading painter of genre scenes working in Venice in the latter 19th Century. Paoletti is celebrated today for his charged genre pictures, which in content hark back to older traditions while in technique recognise more recent 19th Century painterly advances.
Frame: Height 64cm, width 84cm, depth 8cm
Canvas: Height 40cm, width 60cm, depth 2cm
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