37 x 61.8 cm
signed lower right: G Bargellini
Together in the lot, ancient photomechanical reproduction with possible autographs by the artist depicting a scene from classical antiquity.
The drawing is a preparatory study for the lost painting Meditation , known from the Alinari photograph in which you can read at the bottom left "G.Bargellini 1892". It is included in the list of photographs of works by Giulio Bargellini contained in the Fratelli Alinari Soc. An.I.D.E.A. Catalog, Florence, via Nazionale 7. Catalog of Photographs of Modern Art works of art. Paintings and sculptures: on p. 8 lists 12 photographs of Bargellini's paintings and no. 16335 is just Meditation.
The subject belongs to the period initial in which Bargellini realizes paintings in the manner of Alma Tadema. He was then working in Florence as a decorator of environments, collaborating with his teacher Augusto Burchi, and it had to be Francesco Vinea, his other teacher, to guide him towards a genre required by art galleries and collectors. In a chronological list of his works probably drawn up towards the end of the 1920s, when he aspired to be admitted among the academics of the Royal Academy of Italy, Bargellini indicates his old-fashioned production of the years 1892-93 under the generic term "Quadri of Roman subject "; in the year 1900 he places The favorite, Eterno idioma, Sappho and Faone, with the name of the recipients and the locations. Therefore he produced that kind of paintings for a long period of time: after studying anatomy drawing, undertaken at the Academy, to prepare for the competition for the National Artistic Retirement of Painting of 1894, and after moving to Rome on January 1 1897, following the achievement of the Pensionato in the competition of 1896 with the essay Pygmalion, at least until 1900, when he had already started a personal path on the wave of the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites, the idealist symbolists and Klimt.
From simple subjects, with a single figure, he moved to compositions gathered under the generic term "Idylls": a young man and a girl in sentimental attitudes and situations (Idyll in two versions, The favorite, Spied dreams ) , staged with several figures, such as Eterno idioma (two versions, one in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Palazzo Pitti). The young man is usually taken by posing photographs himself. Meditation has, in comparison to the previous Mestizia (1889, known from an Alinari photograph), a girl sitting slumped on a stone seat and behind her trees and sky, an ideal value: a girl sitting on an exedra-shaped seat, holds a flowering branch in her hand, her large wide eyes fixed in front of her; and to introduce thoughts into her mind through the sound of the syringe is a small Eros, who flew near her with the quiver and the bow. They are loving thoughts. At its feet scattered flowers and in the basin fair skins and a zither. On the band of the chair you can read Giulio, the name of the artist: a signature.
Compared with the painting, the drawing presents some differences and uncertainties: the the side of the seat has a simple shape, the zither rests on the top, the tree is bare; the branch in the hand of the girl is partially erased, the little love next to her is almost illegible except for the open wing, in the basin at her feet they seem to be beasts.
In his way of working, Bargellini generally started from small summary sketches in which he sketched the composition, the positions of the figures and objects, but for paintings similar to Meditation, such as Mestizia, and others on the theme "Idyll", clear and precise linear drawings are known, similar to this one, which however is technically more elaborate, with in white lead and chiaroscuro.
Anna Maria Damigella