Homme déguisé en japonais
Période : XIXe siècle
Ecole : Italienne
Aquarelle sur esquisse à la mine de plomb
37 x 28.6 cm
Signé et inscrit en bas à gauche, Giusep. Signorini / Roma.
Signorini, a master of watercolor, first studied under Aurelio Tiratelli (1842-1900), at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome. While he exhibited first at the Mostra del Circolo Artistico in Rome, he later moved to Paris where he lived for thirty-three years, occasionally exhibiting at the annual Salon. He won a bronze medal in the Exposition Universelle of 1900, and the Grand Prix in 1913 for his watercolor, La mercante di frutta. In recognition of his outstanding talent, he was named director of the Académie des Champs-Elysées. Signorini kept studios in Rome and Paris for years. Much influenced by the Orientalism of such artists as
Jean-Léon Gérome (1824-1904), Ernest Meissonnier (1815-1891), and, most importantly, Mariano Fortuny y Carbo (1838-1874), Signorini often travelled to the Maghreb for inspiration and built a substantial collection of Islamic art and textiles. While many of his compositional watercolors are set pieces of nineteenth-century genre drawing, his individual studies of figures, set against the reserve of the white watercolor paper, are wondrous studies of costume and exoticism, such as in his study of a Man Wearing a Turban Holding a Musket, now at Princeton, and the present study.
The subject of our watercolor is doubtless the model’s superbly complex and luxurious silk kimono. The figure has been posed by the artist to show the full range of the textile, all its intricate folds, and the pictorial figures appliquéd on the back. The tour-de-force use of the medium, combining opaque and transparent watercolors, conveys effortlessly the shimmering quality of the silk.
The drawing comes from a celebrated album of nineteenth-century Italian drawings and watercolors from the collection of Giovanni Piancastelli (1845-1926), painter, collector, and director of the Villa Borghese, Rome. In 1976, the album was catalogued by the Ottocento scholar Roberta J. M. Olson and dispersed by Shepherd Gallery, New York. Piancastelli formed a vast personal collection of drawings from every period. A large group of more than 12,000 drawings from Piancastelli are the core of the holdings of the Print Room of the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, New York; a further group of nearly 1000 drawings from Piancastelli’s collection, acquired by the cellist-collector Janos Scholz (1903-1993), is now in the Morgan Library, New York.
 Originally, the Accademia di San Luca. In 1874, the academy’s teaching responsibilities were reorganized under the name of the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti, now called the Accademia di Belle Arti. The Accademia di San Luca’s cultural mission since 1874 has been to promote and enrich the fine arts.
 R. J. M. Olson, “Introduction,” in Italian Nineteenth Century Drawings and Watercolors: An Album, Shepherd Gallery, New York, dealer’s exhibition catalogue, 1976, unpaginated.
The Rev. Francis Agius
(1891-1958), Inwood, New York
Shepherd Gallery, New York, 1976, chez qui acheté par
David Daniels (1927-2002), New York (vente: New York, Sotheby’s, le 13 octobre 1993, lot
Mrs. Frank Mavec, Chagrin
Falls, Ohio, par descendance
New York, Shepherd Gallery, Italian Nineteenth
Century Drawings and Watercolors: An Album, 1976, no. 41, pl. 55 (catalogue
par Roberta J. M. Olson)
Washington, National Gallery of Art; Minneapolis,
Minneapolis Institute of Arts; et San Francisco, Fine Arts Museums of San
Francisco, Italian Drawings 1780-1890, 1980-1981, pp. 234-35, no. 100, reproduit
(catalogue par Roberta J. M. Olson)
Entre 10 000€ et 50 000€
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Palais Brongniart - Stand 16