Florence 1835 – 1909
Portrait of young lady
Signed and dated, M Gordigiani 1878
oil on canvas, 58 x 73 cm.
Michele Gordigiani was a florentine artist, he started as sculptor under Lorenzo Bartolini but then he preferred painting studies, following at first the school founded by Luigi Mussini and then the Giuseppe Bezzuoli’s lessons at the Accademia in Florence. He used to actively participate at the reunions of the Macchiaioli’s group at the Caffè Michelangelo, sharing the same artistic researches. On the 1860 he moved to Paris where, thanks to his friend Virginia Oldoini Countess of Castiglione, he joined in the high class life of the town.
The portrait of the king of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II, commissioned by his cousin Eugenio Emanuele di Savoia, was fundamental for the development of Gordigiani’s career because thanks to the many excellent reviews he obtained the role of the official painter of the royal house.
He had a great success on his life and he travelled a lot, in Europe and in America, invited by the most important courts for his ability in the art of the portrait. On the 1909 he died in his home town.
Our portrait is part of the mature portrait painting of Gordigiani, influenced by the Macchiaioli’s experience and by the Parisian avant-guarde, typify by a veil of pleasantness that doesn’t hide the complexity and malice of the human soul. Vibrant brush strokes and light colors are chosen to convey a sense of delicacy and dream.
GASPARE BORSELLINO, Michele Gordigiani, Torino 1994.