Eleuterio Pagliano - inv. 42/14

Eleuterio Pagliano (1826-1903)

Young lady smelling a rose
1850-1860
  
32,4 x 23,7 cm
firma
"Pagliano f."
1879 legato Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli
Inv. 42/14

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Sitting on a windowsill, a young woman has plucked a rose from a flowering branch and is now lost in memories smelling its perfume. The sentimental overtones and sensual charm of her bared white shoulder are the main attractions of this picture, while the artist’s formal solidity is revealed in the theatrically draped blue curtain behind the figure.

The watercolour can be dated to the 1850s on stylistic grounds. In those years Eleuterio Pagliano was also taking part in the wars of independence, serving on more than one occasion in Garibaldi’s army. Pagliano was a great friend of Giuseppe Bertini, with whom he had trained at the Brera academy, and made his name on the Milanese art scene above all as a painter of historical scenes, often with explicit patriotic allusions, and scenes inspired by the events and heroes of the Italian Risorgimento.