Italian oil on canvas painting 'The Proposition' by Ricci

By Ricci, Arturo (Italian, 1854-1919)


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Arturo Ricci (Italian, 1854-1919) was well-known and celebrated for his genre paintings of costumed subjects, and this painting is one of his very finest examples.

It depicts a lavish interior scene with a couple seated at a table set with a rich, red tablecloth. The man, with powdered wig and intricate dress coat, leans toward the woman with his hands pressed together as though in prayer, as the woman turns her shoulder to him, resting her elbow on the table as she looks out of the painting toward the viewer. In her pink, laced dress and powdered wig she is the epitome of coy restraint, appearing to playfully resist the advances and pleas - 'the proposition' - of her male companion, drawing out his apparent persuasive suffering.

The room in which the couple are seated is hung with tapestries and features intricately adorned furniture. A painted wooden screen is visible to the left of the composition, and a Baroque mirror above a console table laden with a Chinoiserie vase and mantel clock can be seen just behind the lady.

The painting is housed in a carved giltwood frame, and is signed to the lower left 'Arturo Ricci'.

Frame: Height 83cm, width 104cm, depth 5cm
Canvas: Height 62.5cm, width 88cm


Artist / Maker
By Ricci, Arturo (Italian, 1854-1919)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Figurative Art, Genre
Giltwood, Oil on Canvas
Gold, Multi-coloured


83 cm / 32.7 inches
104 cm / 40.9 inches
5 cm / 2 inches


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