Friday, August 08, 2008

Resting by Antonio Mancini

This was my favorite painting in the short time we had at The Art Institute of Chicago. First of the girl in the painting is arrestingly stunning and there is something about her gaze, off to the side, that was captivating. There is also the raw kind of sensuality that emanates from it, that makes you want to look at it again and again. I also love the brown, subdued tones he used, it reminded me of one of my favorite painters, John Singer Sargeant. Here's the expert the official description of the painting:
Mancini's Painting Style and Career:
A portrait painter who worked primarily in Rome after 1883, Antonio Mancini developed an interest in the rich palettes and dark, tonal contrasts of Italian Baroque painting......

With its dramatic impasto, particularly in the bedsheets that surround the ruddy-cheeked, soporific young woman, Resting demonstrates the bold, almost sculptural quality of Mancini’s work from this period. The array of reflective decanters near the subject’s bed suggests that she is a convalescent, perhaps recovering from an illness, given her flushed complexion. Nevertheless, her sensuous appearance conveys as much erotic allure as it does innocent vulnerability. She looks wistfully off to the side, refusing to meet the viewer’s gaze, her barely parted lips and slightly tilted head contributing to her dreamy demeanor. The lyrical atmosphere of this intimate—and intimately scaled—image seems intensified by the curve of the model’s abundant, black hair flowing across the length of the large, white pillow behind her; the red roses she clutches in her hand; and the manner in which she coyly pulls down the sheet to reveal her breast and shoulder.

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