Two works that will be put under the hammer in the auction of Nineteenth-Century Paintings on May 31st 2017 are perfect examples of the love for a tender and sensitive description of reality in 19th century painting.The first work is an oil painting by Antonio Rotta (Gorizia, 1828 – Venice, 1903), signed and dated 1891 and depicting “The Starfish ” – present at the National Exhibition of Fine Arts held in Rome in 1893 and at the Art Exhibition held in Gorizia in 1894 – in which this artist from the north-east Italian town of Gorizia focuses his attention on the exchanging of the two glances of the two girls in the centre of the painting, the first girl’s profile as she lifts up the starfish and the second girl, facing the viewer with her glance directed towards this unusual sea animal. A refined and intense painter of the popular soul, of ordinary people, of domestic atmospheres depicted in all their intimate essence. Antonio Rotta became famous on account of this simple and knowledgeable quest for a certain compositional equilibrium that he was able to achieve through a research into colour and an impeccable fusion of figures, atmospheres and landscapes. An identical climate may also be found in “The Nanny” by Federico Rotta (Florence 1847 – 1930), most certainly one of the masterpieces by this Florentine artist in which he was able to depict with a hint of frankness and superb talent a scene of daily life populated by many different figures who, together within the painting, create the image of family serenity.
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