Carlo Mancini - inv. 282
The original colours have been darkened by altered paints and retouches, especially in the area of the tear in the canvas, in the sky. The painting shows a country landscape: on the right, a cottage with a large thatched roof of the northern Europe type (Mancini visited Brittany, Normandy and Scotland); on the left, a lane with a few animals driven by a farmer; in the background, a pool of water and, in the distance, snow-covered mountains.
The composition is a symphony of spring colours. Mancini was an excellent pianist and friend of Arrigo Boito, who set to music part of the opera Mephistopheles on the artist’s grand piano.
Trained in the circle of Lombard realism, the painter is held to be one of the first to have practised painting from life in an unconventional way. In this work, his by now consolidated technique is clearly recognisable: short, lively, thick brushstrokes and a vibrant material quality that contrasts with the landscape in the distance, painted with more fluid strokes.
The canvas is not signed or dated but the mature style allows the work to be dated to the end of the nineteenth century.
The painting was donated to the Museum by countess Isabella Delmati Marenzi. Mancini left his travel sketches and the greater part of his works to the countess and her husband, Giovanni Marenzi.