Riccardo Pellegrini - inv. 3200
The painting shows an interior looting scene. The artist shows us the richness of the stolen goods and the haste and agitation of the action. Each of the robbers is depicted as he grabs something, like the man on the far right, whose hand only we see caught in the act of snatching a painting. The dynamic atmosphere is also suggested by the haphazard disarray of the objects, in the trunk and scattered around the room, and by the choice of colours, spread in short vibrant strokes. The glittering colours of the objects struck by light in fact contrast with the brown background in shadow.
Known above all as an illustrator of stories, magazines and periodicals, Pellegrini’s skill in portraying his characters’ gestures and expressions derives from his work as a cartoonist. Instead, the detailed description of objects and masterly rendering of materials, such as the rich brocades, the silver casket and dish, reveal the influence of the painter Mariano Fortuny.
A pupil of Domenico Morelli, Pellegrini trained in various Italian (among which Naples) and European cities. The influence from a trip to Spain is visible in the vivacity of his palette. A prolific, eclectic artist, he worked on various supports (canvas, wood, card and paper) painting genre scenes, still lives and marine and landscape sketches.
The watercolour is in good condition and can be dated between the 1880s and 1890s.