Portrait of Emilia Verri Magrini e Valentina Magrini

Augusto Colombo1936

Ca’ Granda – Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico

Ca’ Granda – Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico
Milan, Italy

Valentina Magrini, daughter of the famous cellist Giuseppe and harpist Emilia Verri, after having already made a donation to the Ospedale Maggiore in memory of her father in 1931, carried out a second donation, in 1935, in memory of her mother, who died at about twenty days of distance from her husband, of 100,000 lire in government bonds, in addition to 50,000 liras put to 5% income, to guarantee assistance and free medical care to musicians in poor economic conditions. Then she gives the hospital church an armonium and donates his father's last cello. She proposes for the commemorative portrait the same artist who had performed that of his father, Augusto Colombo, asking to be depicted in turn on the canvas. Emilia Verri, an excellent harpist, had been a teacher of her daughter, who then held several concerts with her father. Valentina is portrayed from life, while playing (Colombo claims that the artist posed precisely with "her" instrument), while for the mother's face, represented standing, holding a score, the painter had to use a photo of the still young woman who thus had to "grow old". The central compositional element is the harp, which the painter represents in all its majestic elegance. Much attention is paid to depicting the movement of the musician's hands, dressed in a white gown that blends well with the golden and warm color of the instrument. A little forced, in terms of composition is the figure of the mother, who appears almost stiff and confined in a too narrow a space. The black dress is an allusion to her, brief, period of widowhood and above all to the fact that at the time of writing of the painting Emilia was already dead, clearly in contrast with Valentina's clear and "vital" look.


  • Title: Portrait of Emilia Verri Magrini e Valentina Magrini
  • Creator: Augusto Colombo
  • Creator Lifespan: 1902/1969
  • Date Created: 1936
  • Location Created: Milano
  • Physical Dimensions: h 131, w 100 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: oil
  • Art Genre: Portrait
  • Support: plywood
  • Inv.: Ritratti 000519

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