Vittorio Matteo Corcos (1859 - 1933): Dreams, 1896, oil on

Vittorio Matteo Corcos (1859 - 1933): Dreams, 1896, oil on

5/24/2021, 9:46:31 AM
Vittorio Matteo Corcos (1859 - 1933): Dreams, 1896, oil on canvas, 160 × 135 cm (63 × 53.1 in), Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Rome Vittorio Matteo Corcos is an Italian painter, best known for his genre scenes, most often featuring winsome and well-dressed young women. His other major endeavor, portraits of lavishly gowned ladies, minor nobility to crowned head, show the same saccharine tendencies, but his painterly style was well-suited to his subject's modishness and station. And with the precision of his likenesses, quite a lot of the subject's personality finds its way through the satiny gloss. He kept up with his contacts in Paris as well as those in the Anglo-Saxon world where he acted as an ambassador of female beauty, made immortal in the splendid portraits that dominate the exhibit. The women depicted in his work became queens of the Belle Epoque: aristocrats and leading ladies of the era. They included Lina Cavalieri, described by the poet Gabriele D’Annunzio as “Venus on Earth;” or Isadora Duncan, the founder of modern dance. They are so modern that they almost seem to pre-date the heroines of the silver screen between the two world wars. Corcos' most famous portrait is of a young woman, sitting on a bench, one hand under her chin and her hat by her side on the bench. This young lady is Elena Vecchi, a friend's daughter. She gazes out of the painting with a look so bold that it dominates the viewer. It caused on uproar at the time, but it became a symbol of “fin de siècle” femininity.

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