Large oil painting of the violinist Vivien Chartres by V. Corcos

By Corcos, Vittoria Matteo (Italian, 1859-1933)


By an important artist and beautifully executed, this large portrait painting depicts the famous, young, and highly talented violinist Vivien Chartres.


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This beautiful, large, and captivating portrait is by the important Italian artist Vittorio Matteo Corcos, a leading portrait and genre painter of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, who captured in oils a variety of figures of Italian high society, and depicts here the famed violinist Vivien Chartres, as a young child.

This superb painting was completed when Vivien was 14, and is signed with great affection, 'Alle Carissima Vivien,' (to my dearest Vivien), by the artist, who painted it in Florence, Italy. The beautiful duck-egg blue of her dress brings out her youth and innocence, while she looks back to the viewer over her left shoulder with a gaze that is suggestive of the more quirky, strong-willed, independent qualities, for which she was well known in later life. The impressionistic, freer style of her dress and background contrasts with the immaculate and exquisite painting of her face and instrument, demonstrating the supreme skill of the artist, and the importance of this piece as a portrait of such a charismatic and talented musician. 

A child prodigy, Vivien Chartres (Italian/British, 1893-1941) was the daughter of the writer Annie Vivanti (1866-1942), who infamously wrote the 1910 novel The Devourers as a fictionalised account of their mother daughter relationship. Vivien was an exceptionally talented musician, and performed for the likes of Queen Margherita of Italy and King Edward VII of Great Britain. She was worked extremely hard by her mother and manager, who were fined under laws meant to protect talented children from overexposure and exploitation, and her mother's novel is to many as much about a mother devouring her child, as it was about a talented child devouring her mother, as Vivanti had framed it. Her life ended tragically when she committed suicide, rather than live alone after the death of her husband.

The portrait is titled and dated 'Vivien Chartres / A.D. MCMVII' to the upper right, and signed below 'Alle Carissima Vivien / V. Corcos / Firenze 1907.' 

Frame: height 175cm, width 95cm, depth 5cm
Canvas: height 171cm, width 90cm, depth 3cm


Artist / Maker
By Corcos, Vittoria Matteo (Italian, 1859-1933)
Country of Origin
British, Italian
Date of Manufacture
Early 20th Century
Figurative Art, Music / Musical, Portrait
Giltwood, Oil on Canvas
Blue, Multi-coloured


175 cm / 68.9 inches
95 cm / 37.4 inches
5 cm / 2 inches


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