Antonio Mancini, The broken straw hat

Antonio Mancini, The broken straw hat,  1875
Antonio Mancini, The broken straw hat, 1875

From a young age, Antonio Mancini demonstrated an innate taste for fine art. He was a precocious natural talent, considered an enfant prodige destined for a great future. This anticipated fame began to spread when Mancini first went to Naples as a teenager, visiting its churches and acquiring technical skills from studying works of Caravaggio and Battistello Caracciolo.

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This initial education was soon accompanied by regular visits to Stanislao Lista’s studio where Mancini’s painting oriented towards a more rigorous naturalism. In this environment of culture and style, Mancini’s art was born and began to take form. From here emerged his aim to return to Neapolitan painting its lost monumentality of centuries past, and, at the same time, to enrich it with new formal qualities. Qualities that he sought – and found – wandering Naples’ labyrinth of crowded, narrow alleyways where he observed impoverished children. Some of them would soon become favourite models, their faces often peering out of his early period paintings, all represented against the background of their misery.

Antonio Mancini
(Rome 1852 - 1930)

The broken straw hat, 1875
Oil on panel, 43 x 35 cm 
Signed lower right: A. Mancini / Naples

Sordi Collection, Naples; Private collection, New York; Christie's, New York; Private collection, Marano (NA); Nuova Bianchi Galleria d'Espinosa, Naples; Galleria Vittoria Colonna, Naples; Private collection, Naples.


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