This work is an early approach by Fortuny to genre painting and one of the works from his early period in Rome that best demonstrate his virtuosity. In front of the Baroque fountain in the gardens of the Villa Borghese he places a young man with an aloof air of affected elegance emphasised by the eighteenth-century clothing –frock coat, waistcoat and shirt--, the sword and the powdered wig. The figure responds to a type that was common at the time, but which Fortuny marks with a stamp of his own. His skill as an artist can be appreciated in the subtle way in which he recreates the transparency of the water pouring from the fountain, the accomplished distribution of shadows and his splendid sense of colour.


  • Title: Il contino
  • Creator: Marià Fortuny
  • Date Created: 1861
  • Tag: Genre and society
  • Physical Dimensions: w390 x h563 cm
  • Inventory number: 010692-D
  • Artwork history: Contributed by the Diputació de Barcelona, 1906
  • Type: Drawing
  • External Link: Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya
  • Medium: Watercolour on paper

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