Italian Peasant Woman in Scenic Landscape
circa 1860. Watercolour mounted on sheet of brownish-gray paper. Very good condition apart from some light soiling and minor foxing in the margins, mild rippling, and two small tears in the right margin. Image size (including text): 13 1/8 x 8 11/16 inches. Sheet size: 20 3/4 x 13 1/2 inches.
A charming image of an Italian peasant woman adorned in native dress.
This stunning watercolour is a beautiful example of the peasant genre of painting that was popular during the mid-nineteenth-century and epitomized by the works of artists such as Jules Breton (1827-1906), William Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot (1796-1875). In this romanticized portrayal of rural life, a colourfully dressed peasant woman is pictured amidst a picturesque seaside landscape engaged in her daily chores. Works such as this not only exalted the dignified, pure life of the noble peasant, but also celebrated the beauty of the native countryside. They were most likely sold to tourists as souvenirs of their travels.