oil on canvas
74 x 53 cm
signed and dated lower right: E. Pagliano 1891
Subject loved by Lombard painters of the nineteenth century, in the wake of the historicist conquests of Francesco Hayez, Tranquillo Cremona, Federico Faruffini and Eleuterio Pagliano grappled with this theme.It is not so much the theme itself that surprises, but how Pagliano arrived at this subject at a mature age; he frequented Tranquillo Cremona's studio in via Conservatorio, just when his colleague was obtaining results by exhibiting The Falconer at various national exhibitions, in the company of Vespasiano Bignami, Alfredo Catalani and Giuseppe Rovani. The impact was also strong for Pagliano who, in any case, never espoused the disheveled cause in favor of a Morellian academicism with strong pompier inspirations from beyond the Alps, but decided to decline the subjects frequented by his colleagues with his own language. The falconer is an allusive subject in the case of Cremona: a stereotype of the conquering male. In fact, the young man hunts with the help of the trained falcon who captures the prey for him. Thus, in the painting, the satisfaction of the boy who holds the girl in his arms is evident. The hawk in an aggressive attitude, perched on the shoulder, therefore alludes to the sexual prowess of the young man. The work anticipates the erotic-sentimental atmospheres of the subsequent disheveled period. All this is completely emptied by Pagliano who brings the theme back to a pure court divertissement, highlighting his well-known technical skills.