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Portrait of a lady

Virgilio Guidi

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Mantova Museo Urbano Diffuso

Virgilio Guidi’s existential and artistic journey between Rome and Venice was a sign of great rigor, and an attempt to continuously refine the technique that allowed him to capture the rarefied atmospheres around a portrait or around a view. Initially close to the Roman school, Guidi approached the painting of Henri Matisse as a young man, pursuing some stylistic traits that united him to the French master. His art became more and more simple with time, finally composing an intense series of works, for example the famous islands of San Giorgio or the many iconic faces of women, in which small chromatic differences produce radically different outcomes in expression. The picture we see here probably belongs to an intermediate period. But already, in the division between shadow and light in the face, we note Guidi’s tendency to seek an expressive figure that allows both sensorial vibration as well as a brilliant representational rendering of a person. In this case the alternation of colors is beautiful: the pink that pervades the face and the garment is combined with the sudden accentuation of the lips and eyebrows. Everything diverts itself in a small space, in the intimate display of a lady who waits indefinitely for something, and who reveals her own grace.

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