(Milano 1813 – Triuggio 1879)
Black and white chalk on beige paper, mm. 252 x 284
The drawing is an “Academic study”, as we can notice by the deep attention given to lights and shadows (emphasized by the use of both black and white chalk) and by the plastic pose of the model (the artist himself was portrayed by Ferdinando Bassi in a similar position). The hairstyle and the beard of the man follow the typical style vogue on that time. It’s signed at the bottom on the right Eliseo Sala disegnò.
Eliseo Sala was a scholar of Sabatelli at the Accademia of Brera but he also studied in Venice, where he was on the 1837, and in Rome, where he became friends of Francesco Coghetti. From the 1849, due to the Austrian control of Milan, he moved to Torino thanks to a relative of his wife who worked in the magistrature of the Savoia court. However, he never lost his contacts in Lombardy, becoming one of the most requested portraitist together with Hayez and Molteni. He was appreciated by the aristocracy, like the Dukes Litta or the Savoia, and by important people like Camillo Benso Count of Cavour and the Manzoni family. He was probably introduced in the portrait painting by his mother family, the Delmati, who had in their collection examples made by the most important artists of the time (his mother was portrayed by Giuseppe Bezzuoli). He participated in lots of academic competitions and in the Exposition Universelle of the 1855.