In this scene is an artist's studio, the painter is pictured in the background, wearing a long blue robe and a little round hat. He is pulling back a heavy striped curtain with his right hand and looking at what is taking place on the other side of the door; in his left hand he is holding a palette (the paints are arranged according to the academic manuals of that time) and brushes. We can assume that someone knocked on the door of the studio (hence the "inopportune" of the title) and that the painter stood up to see who it was, while his model, positioned in the left foreground - a girl with black hair tied in a bun, and waring socks - has embarrassedly withdrawn behind an easel and a curtain. Through a crack at the door the painter is looking at something we cannot see, while his model examines him from outside his view. On the wooden floor there is an oriental carpet while the skins of an anteater lays beside - objects that help define the three vertical bands that provide a firm and precise order for the painting's composition. The leftmost band, occupied by the model, is delimited by the upright shaft of the easel she is hiding behind; the rightmost band, occupied by the figure of the artist, is delimited by the door and extends along the skin of the the anteater; the third, central band contrains the space they both supposedly occupied before the inopportune knock at the door. This is the space where, just moments before, the act of paiting was being consummated.


  • Title: O importuno [The Inopportune]
  • Creator: Almeida Júnior
  • Date Created: 1898
  • Physical Dimensions: 145 x 97 cm
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Acervo da Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil. Transferência do Museu Paulista, 1947
  • Year and death place name: 1850 - Itu, SP, Brasil
  • Year and birth place name: 1850 - Itu, SP, Brazil

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