Much like my adored artist Vittorio Reggianini, whose brightly resplendent artworks of playful romantic scenes bring such joy to my heart, Arturo Ricci (1854 – 1919) captures bountiful scenes of romance and social pleasure in the leisure classes.
While exploring his work I chanced upon the similarly themed art of Pio Ricci and I realise that it is not only the resplendence of the interiors that I so appreciate in these pieces or the cheer of the subjects, but the vividity with with the fabrics are so captured and the colours that seem to jump off the screen. It would be very interesting indeed to see these artists works in person and I do so dearly hope to do so someday.
‘A Florentine, Arturo Ricci received his instruction at the Academy of Art under Professor Tito Conti. Conti retained an admirable sense of composition and grace of figures; his drawing and color were excellent but his remarkable facility for representing inanimate objects was his forte.
Apparently Conti had been able to instill in his pupil an excellent ability of interpretation. This provided Ricci with the means of portraying scenes of everyday aristocratic life with which he was most familiar. They also gave the artist an opportunity for a most wondrous display of “costume art.”‘
As stated on MutualArt, ‘Numerous works by the artist have been sold at auction, including ‘The Wedding Party’ sold at Christie’s King Street ’19th Century European Art including Orientalist Paintings’ in 2012 for $188,670.’
The footnotes on his artwork ‘The Recital‘ are thus – Arturo Ricci (Italian, 1854-1919) ‘The recital’ – signed ‘Arturo. Ricci’ (lower right) – oil on canvas 26 1/2 x 36 in. (67.5 x 91.5 cm.)
‘Ricci’s models rarely step outside their elegant interior, where the rooms are always decorated with paintings, mirrors, tapestries and carpets.
The group of ladies wear sumptuous 18th century costume in a celebration of Rococo extravagance. Ricci introduces the viewer to realm of the fashionable woman where élégantes gather in the company of a suitor.
The act of reading a poem or a letter had long been a favoured subject of the genre artist. It was an ideal pretext to observe unaware figures lost in thought, as they focus on the suitor, ignoring the presence of the viewer. At the same time such works invite the viewer to speculate as to the meaning of the poem by decoding clues such as the look of the ladies or their positions. Judging from their expressions and their attitudes, they seem amused and intrigued by him.’
In closing I offer this lovely catalogue note summary from Sotheby’s :
“Arturo Ricci studied in Florence under Tito Conti and specialized in figurative subjects, genre scenes and views of elegant family life, as in the present work. He was celebrated for his unparalleled skill and draftsmanship, and his audacious use of color. Like his contemporaries Vittorio Reggianini of Modena, and Charles Frederick Soulacroix of Paris, he created a vision the past as a world of iridescent satins and rustling silks, nostalgic tableaux that imagined a golden age of elegance before the Industrial Revolution forever changed daily life.”
Fabulously eccentric TV host, curvaceous model and founder of Hong Kong ’s first luxury corset brand, Pearls & Arsenic. I love sharing my passion for all things elegant and live with my Dearest Beloved and a fluffy Angora rabbit named Lord Pemberly III, who is a ridiculous snob. Find me on IG @RavenTao or FB : Raven Tao
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