Monday, September 3, 2018

Andreotti's Character Portraits

Federico Andreotti (Italian, 1847 – 1930) painted studies of characters in situations that he imagined from the 18th and 17th centuries. 

This portrait of a working man clutching a box is as much a study of his hands as it is of his face. 

Federico Andreotti, The Flautist
He would hire models to pose in historic costumes, acting out a simple story with a prop or two. Here, an old flautist balances his music on his bottle of wine.

Federico Andreotti
He also painted coquettish young women wearing dresses from an earlier century.

Federico Andreotti, A Good Vintage
His paintings were very popular in his time, as were those of Ernest Meissonier in France or Norman Rockwell in America.

Federico Andreotti, The Violin Teacher, circa 1875-1890,
Glasgow, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
The fact that most of his figures are lit by soft light from the left suggest that he typically posed his models in his studio, illuminated by a north window, and that he was right-handed. 

Federico Andreotti, The Love Letter
This young woman has received a letter from a suitor. Her hand pose communicates shyness.

Sometimes he painted a young man and woman in a courtship scene.

This working-class card player is weighing his options. 

Federico Andreotti An Afternoon Tea
A few of his paintings are multi-figure scenes, in this case variations on the theme of courtship.
Federico Andreotti on Wikipedia


Terry said...

Egads, when I first saw that first young woman's portrait, I thought, "What's a photograph doing here?" ! I love these. For some reason what caught my eye first in the card-player's portrait was the side of his right eye - for some reason it struck my as so - evocative, or something. It's an angle of the human face we see every day but for some reason that particular detail seems to me to really bring the man alive.

Kate said...

I spent some time at one stage studying the works and methods of William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Andreotti and he have a similar look to their work. Bouguereau was very popular too.

scottT said...

I agree, Terry. Uncanny! It even looks like a photoshopped girl cut and pasted onto a painted background. On closer examination the face betrays it, but man. Tonally that may be the most accurate figure I've ever seen.

Vladimir Venkov said...

Very beautiful paintings. I bet he loved painting hands.

Sheridan said...

I think the cutout or photoshopped look to these works comes from the unnaturally dark background in all of them. Even the outdoor scenes have a background that would not be found in the real world. It does add to the drama though.