Pompeo Massani (1850-1920) was an Italian painter, mainly depicting costume genre subjects, often in satirical poses. This is an excellent example of his work. It shows two card players, one of whom is sitting back, perhaps dozing; perhaps a bit tipsy. The details of the room are noteworthy. I love the folding screen behind them; the dog next to the table; the sword on the floor; and much more. By the way, the dog appears to be a sighthound; perhaps a greyhound or a saluki or borzoi. However, since he is not facing us I am simply conjecturing by the frame.
He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence, then studied for three years under Michele Gordigiani. His first important work was the painting: La politica in canonica, awarded a silver medal at the Exhibition of Rovigo of 1879. In 1881 he won the first prize at the Exhibition of Genoa, for the painting: Un brindisi al frate, depicting over 36 figures; The Design Lesson, owned by the Goupil Gallery, and I vecchi celibi; Una partila a carie; Il concerto; In cantina; and Il saluto al gobbo. He painted portraits of King Vittorio Emanuele and of the Countess of Mirafiore.
Massani's paintings often depict lively public scenes, including Al teatro delle Marionette, Al circo equestre; Al teatrino; Il giocoliere, e Momento allegro. At the Exhibition of Monaco of 1889, he exhibited il Circo equestre. La poesia is a canvas with five figures titled: La politica, che sta per terminare.
Massani was named honorary professor of the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Florence. In 1887, he was awarded the Cross of the Knight of the Order of the Crown of Italy.
He often painted elderly individuals engaged in apparent buffonery or celebrating inebriation.
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Country of Origin: Italy.
Artist: POMPEO MASSANI (Italian, 1850-1920)
Title: Card Players.
Medium: Oil on mahogany panel.
Size: 7 by 10 inches; framed 7 3/4 by 10 34 inches.
Condition: Good to Very Good Antique Condition. UV-tested clean, minor toning to varnish, some abrasions/lacuna to lower center edge. (Has a Bunte Auction Services tag (2005) to the verso.)
**Please note that the physical colors of this item may vary from the pictures in the listing, given the quality of the camera, the lighting and the background used.
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