Giacomo Favretto - inv. 268
The Poldi Pezzoli Museum has one of Favretto’s typical genre scenes. The painting shows a woman seated three-quarters, intent on embroidering floral decoration onto a piece of white material.
The artist has described the woman’s complexion with care, using denser brushstrokes and attentively studying the shadows. Shapes are less precise in the rest of the work where the colour has been laid on in broad, thick brushstrokes. In the background, where the panel shows through, execution was even more rapid.
The painting was realised with no preparatory layer and with a rich palette of bright colours.
Favretto paid much attention to rendering the woman’s dress and shawl, the outline of the chair and the cage hanging on the wall: all significant elements in his definition of a lower-class environment. Objects and furnishings are never superfluous in his works.
On a stylistic basis, the painting can be dated to the 1890s.
Giacomo Favretto studied at the Venice Academy of Fine Arts. Reclaiming the Venetian tradition of colour (from Titian to Tiepolo and Longhi), his training also included more avant-garde experiences of Italian verism and, from a technical point of view, the use of photographs as study materials for his paintings.
His preferred subjects refer to the Venetian lower classes and to recalling figures and scenes from the 18th century, both described in an anecdotal way. He also painted portraits and landscapes and, from 1880, took part in the most important Italian and foreign exhibitions, achieving recognition and awards.