A Pair of 19thC Italian School Oil & Tempura on Canvas Studies of Roses

Origin: Italian, Umbria District
Period: Macchiaioli
Provenance: Formerly of the Collection Pietro Vitali, Foligno
Date: c.1850-70
The Works: 10” wide x 14” high & 9.5” wide x 13” high
In Frames: 14” wide x 18” high x 1.5” deep & 13” wide x 17” high x 1.25” deep

Painted in oils and tempura on canvas and presented in their original moulded and gilded frames, the pair of works, of slightly differing sizes, depicting bunches of red roses each tied with green ribbons, on ebony grounds, and surviving from the Umbrian district of nineteenth century Italy.

The pictures remain in fair and sound overall condition and are un-meddled with each having some small amounts of paint loss and remain uncleaned. The frames have a few very small areas of loss to their edgings and some old worm. The have been re-lined in the late nineteenth-century with some restoration points on the canvases.

Each flower is wonderfully realised with the artist’s talent very apparent and they are beautifully proportioned, voluptuous and show the flowers full of vitality, yet somehow still conveying that they are susceptible to dying, with texture and shadow both important to the composition. In this period in Italy the art world developed its own brand of Impressionists including Giovanni Fattori and Giuseppe Abbati. These artists started what later became the Impressionist movement of art in France. Their main artistic premise was that areas or spots of shadow and light (macchie) were primary art components.

The former owner of these pictures, Pietro Vitali, had a long experience in the world of antiques and founded the company Tenuta Rocca di Fabbri in 1984 , where he mixed the works with the landscape and food and wine traditions of the territory. He identified in the area of Montefalco, the ancient cradle of vine cultivation and vinification, practices introduced by the French Benedictines, but then lost after the middle of the 16th century and re-planted vines with particular methods of cultivation, in order to produce wines that had the fragrance of the scents of this land and the elegance of Gozzoli's paintings. The interior of the Rocca, a 14th-century fortification, was restored to create a suggestive cellar, and the buildings within the walls were restored.

A beautifully evocative pair of pictures, summoning the sights and smells of rural Italy.