Carlo Mancini - inv. 36
The scene shows a country landscape with a lake in the background, a subject that the artist would paint many times. A farmer is leading the oxen along the road, and a person is sitting in the cart. In the distance, a woman and a child pause by the lake.
The scene is realistic, in its details and in the colour nuances, particularly effective in the sheets dragged by the cart.
This watercolour might well be a preparatory study for the large-size painting on canvas called Oxcart on the Banks of Lake Annone, signed and dated 1857, and belonging to the Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio delle Province Lombarde. This was one of six landscapes presented by Mancini at his first public exhibition, at Brera, in 1857. Only few details distinguish this watercolour from the final version which, instead, such as young boy near the farmer.
Carlo Mancini was a landscape painter who reacted to the Romantic mannerism and history painting so much on fashion in those years. This watercolour belonged to Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, who might have got it from the artist himself. Almost the same age, Poldi Pezzoli and Mancini both came from noble families and shared the same polithical belief in the Lombard Risorgimento.