Mario Mafai (Italian, 1902-1965) Reclining nude

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Lot 70
Mario Mafai
(Italian, 1902-1965)
Reclining nude

Sold for £ 3,840 (US$ 4,965) inc. premium
Mario Mafai (Italian, 1902-1965)
Reclining nude
signed and dated 'Mafai 53' (lower left)
gouache on paper laid on canvas
51 x 70cm (20 1/16 x 27 9/16in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Acquired from the artist by Prof. Domenico Maselli on his brother's advice, Prof. Ercole Maselli who was the art critic of 'the Scuola Romana';
    Thence by descent, private collection, Italy

    Born in Rome in 1902, Mario Mafai spent all his artistic life in the Italian capital where he is considered one of the most important figures of Modern Art. He received his training with Gino Bonichi Scipione (1904-1933), Marino Mazzacurati (1907-1969) and Antonietta Raphael (1895-1975) with whom he later formed the group called the 'Scuola Romana' in the early 30's.
    The nude is a recurrent subject in Mario Mafai's oeuvre. The first ones date from 1929-1930. The period between 1933-34 is considered his most productive one with paintings such as 'Nudo sul Divano' now in the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome. Over the next 20 years he painted a few nudes but mainly figures and still lifes. He started again in the early 50's with compostions such as the present lot. Dated from 1953, the nude is represented with rapid and vivid brushstrokes where the blue azzure meets the pink and the light brown to create a simple yet beautiful representation. Mafai would build form with simnple colour to depict the sensuality of the nude in this later period.
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