Feeding the pigeons signed 'G.Favretto' (lower left) oil on canvas 33.5 x 22.5cm (13 3/16 x 8 7/8in).
PROVENANCE: Private collection, Italy
Giacomo Favretto is regarded as one of the most important 19th century Italian artists. In his short but intense career he was to become a hugely successful painter. A student of Michelangelo Grigoletti (1801-1870) and Pompeo Molmenti (1819-1894) he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, and established his reputation with his depictions of everyday Venetian life. He is arguably the most innovative Venetian artist of the second half of the 19th century, his style founded on a modern interpretation of the Venetian tradition passed down from the great Masters such as Tiepolo (1696-1770) and Pietro Longhi (1702-1785).
The present work most likely dates to 1878, painted when the artist was 29. There is at least one other known version of the subject Donna con piccioni (Guido Perocco, Giacomo Favretto, ill p.80); the present lot has remained in a private collection for over 100 years. The model depicted is a favourite and repeated subject of the artist. In the composition she is standing feeding pigeons with a plate in her hand, wearing a white blouse, a red scarf at her neck and a large straw hat.
1878 was an important year for Favretto. It was in this year that he participated at the Universal Exhibition in Paris which was to prove a source of new inspiration and technical ideas including a clearer, fluid palette and the use of lighter brushstrokes. He also became friends with Guglielmo Ciardi (1842-1917) and both of whom submitted two works for the Exhibition. He also painted one of his most well known work's il Sorcio which now hangs in the Pinacoteca of Brera in Milano.