Giuseppe Bertini - inv. 4715
Datable to about 1880, the painting shows the art and antiques dealer Giuseppe Baslini (Milan, 1817-1887), a key personality in the flourishing antiques market centred in 19th-century Milan. Among his clients were Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, and Giuseppe Bertini, the painter of this portrait. The bond of friendship and professional 'complicity' linking the artist to his sitter in no way altered the official nature of this image. In it, Baslini, who owed his comfort and prestige to the success of his activity, seems to want to affirm, with relaxed but explicit clarity, his social standing.
Following a trend successfully experimented since the beginning of the 1880s, Bertini seeks comparison with the sharp clarity of a photographic image in the pose and careful detailing of the face. As an anonymous reviewer wrote in 1878 in the magazine La Perseveranza, "Bertini calmly describes the physiognomy and quality of the sitter. The family, the friendsof the sitter, will find him in the paintings (….) with the expression they are used to seeing him, the one they remember him for, love him for, miss him for".