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By Paoletti, Antonio Ermolao (Italian, 1834-1912)
This beautifully painted picture portrays a lacemaker working within a brightly lit Italianate room, a work exemplary of the talent of the leading genre painter, Paoletti.
This large and impressive painting is the work of Antonio Ermolao Paoletti, 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 Dutch genre traditions while in technique recognise more recent 19th Century painterly advances.
The painting portrays a brightly lit interior, the space of which is skilfully defined by the use of receding diagonals, particularly the long joint visible between the floorboards. Within the room sits a woman, her left leg raised upon a small chair and her shoulders thrown back against the white-washed wall behind her. Her left arm rests on a beautifully rendered side table, while her right hand touches her face, which is turned towards the birds’ cage hanging upper right. The woman, who is engaged in making lace, takes a moment of reprieve from her labours to glance towards the two birds.
Paoletti is a masterful painter in terms of his technical skill and his ability to create a moment of charged emotional content. The colour palette employed is bright and light, hinting at the warmth of the Venetian day. Paoletti’s painterly technique grants the picture a wonderfully textured, material quality, and the entire piece is a visual joy.
The work is signed and situated lower right “Antonio Paoletti di Giovi / Venezia”.
Frame: Height 119cm, width 93cm, depth 5cm
Canvas: Height 101cm, width 76cm
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