On the Mergellina shore signed and dated 'Leto-1880-' (lower left), inscribed 'de naples a Capri' on an old label on stretcher oil on canvas 50 x 82.5cm (19 11/16 x 32 1/2in).
Antonino Leto studied at Palermo before going to Rome in 1875 with a Scholarship. From 1876 he studied in Florence where he became associated with the Macchiaioli movement and from there he was drawn to Naples by Domenico Morelli (1826-1901). There he formed an artistic group with Giuseppe De Nittis (1846-1884) and Frederico Rossano (1835-1912) called "Scuola di Resina". This was an Italian movement based on realism similar to that of the Macchiaioli. The group gathered at Rivara, which is now incorporated in the town of Herculaneum, formerly know as Resin. The orientation of the group was toward the observation of nature. Their philosophy was against that of the Academy. Antonio Leto was represented by the dealer Goupil in Paris where he met the French Impressionists. As of 1889, he settled in Capri where his views attracted many international collectors. Painted in 1880, on the Mergelina Shore is one of his most successful images of Capri with the Vesuvius in the distance. The works he executed there record the every day activities of figures resting and relaxing on the beach.