Antique Oil painting of a lady reading a letter by Reggianini
By Vittorio Reggianini (Italian, 1858-1938)
This stunning Italian oil painting by Vittorio Reggianini, one of the most esteemed "Costume Painters" of the 19th century, is notable for its beautiful and realistic depiction of the drapery, the lady's dress and her facial expression while reading a letter. It is housed within a giltwood frame carved with shells, scrolls and foliage.
Signed: V. Reggianini
Frame height: 50.5" (128 cm)
Frame width: 37" (94 cm)
Canvas height: 37" (94 cm)
Canvas width: 23.5" (60 cm)
Vittorio Reggianini (1858-1938) was born in Modena, Italy and he did his training at the city’s Accademia di Belle Arti where he subsequently became a professor.
The artist’s best works were genre subjects which depicted the life of elegant ladies and gentlemen of the late 18th century. He was a superb draughtsman and he had a particular talent for painting the sumptuous fabrics and furniture of that period. Reggianini’s subject matter always suggests a story, usually of a romantic nature, but the detail is left to the imagination of the viewer. In this particularly beautiful example of the artist’s work we are left to wonder if the lady is receiving or leaving a love note. He paints her hands and face with delicate precision and her satin gown is exquisitely executed.
It is likely that the artist lived in Florence towards the end of the century as he exhibited there frequently. Florence was also home to a number of artists at this time who specialised in this genre, including Arturo Ricci (1854-1919) and Frederic Soulacroix (1858- 1933). Florence was a popular destination for wealthy art collectors from Europe and the United States and Reggianini was a very successful artist during and after his lifetime.