Woman by Ugo MataniaMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

In Giuseppe Tornatore's film The best offer the protagonist, Geoffrey Rush, obsessed with the female figure, collected an impressive collection of portraits of women which he jealously guarded in a secret room of his house where he admires them every day.

Interior with small embroiderers by Gaetano BocchettiMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

As well as in the film, our room contains forty-six paintings in which, according to the Realist tradition,

Next maternity leave by Renato PassaroMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

the famale figure is depicted in all her splendour with images that recall the intimate everyday life,

Interior with figures by Luca PostiglioneMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

the domestic life,

Popolana by Vincenzo GemitoMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

the work or

Veils by Vincenzo MigliaroMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

splendid faces from which transpire every emotion.

Woman's nude by Ugo de PalmaMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

The woman's body is also often the subject of representations to show its sinuosity, beauty, whiteness and sensuality.

Dream by Giuseppe RendaMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

A clean representation of the body, sometimes with life models, sometimes through the idealization of a loved one.

The illuminated face by Giuseppe AdrowerMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

The room is dedicated to a great woman, Matilde Serao, who, together with letters and publicists, was called to join the "Neapolitan Artistic Society" at the members’ meeting of 8 December 1891.

Figure in pink by Eugenio VitiMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

From this we can deduce that the Circle was frequented by women who had a certain depth in the Neapolitan aristocratic society.The nineteenth century was the century in which the artists produced an infinite number of portraits that depicted the ordinary people.

Stealthy conversation by Pasquale CappelliMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

This also included female portraits from our collection which, thanks to the influence of photography, and thanks to the models taken in their familiarity,

Slave for sale by Luigi de LucaMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

the artist were able to imprint on the canvas the beauty and candour of a multi-faceted figure.

Tripolina (Female study with catpardo) by Vincenzo JeraceMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

Vincenzo Jerace created the sanguine of “A Women's Studio with Leopard Cat”. Here, we can see that the artist was particularly interested in the exotic theme, preferring, in this case, the evocation of a symbolist nature to mere scientific curiosity. He also preserved numerous photographs of African and Indian women which he reworked in various works. Probably, the work was made for the second exhibition of Colonial Art in 1934 organized in Naples in Castel Nuovo. Jerace displayed two graphics included in the "Black and White" section: two female figures entitled Tripolina and Libica.

Lea (from The Loves of the Angels) by Vincenzo JeraceMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

An ancient photograph of the Circle shows a sanguine similar to others Jerace’s works in composition and format which depicts a naked black woman leading a camel. According to the catalogue of the exhibition, the artists were asked to carry out the colonial theme inspired by the real African colonies. The aim was the promotion of the possible Italians’ relocation to those distant lands. According to the Fascist rhetoric, Tripolina should be seen as a Roman matron, owner of a noble feline which belong to the already civilised Tripolitania. While Libya, bare-breasted, should be seen as the camel-keeper slave, who would shortly have entered in the transformation programme with the institution of Libya as a new Italian colony.

The parisian by Pietro ScoppettaMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

In our collection we have also a lot of international artists’ works. An example are Pietro Scoppetta and

Woman by Giuseppe de SanctisMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

Giuseppe de Sanctis, which travelled a lot between Paris and London and frequented the ateliers of great artists such as Jean-Lèon Gérôme and Pascal A.J. Dagnan - Bouveret, with Lawrence Alma-Tadema and the Maison Goupil, who allowed him to move towards a European style of painting characterised by a metropolitan representation and a refined use of pastel.

Sewing woman by Nicola BiondiMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

There are also realistic portraits such as Nicola Biondi's "Sewing Woman”. The work shows, in its compositional aspect and pictorial rendering, how the artist has never interrupted his research on light and tonal contrasts and his interest in popular subjects which are depicted in all their humanity. The canvas of the “Sewing Woman” is very bright, and its soft colour rendering makes the image intimate and sentimental. it is assumed that the model portrayed could be Biondi’s wife, which is struggling with the layette for the birth of his son Paolo. In this case the work could date back to 1895.

Marinella by Rosaria MatareseMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

The collection continues to rise over the years and our research has led us to meet living artists such as Rosaria Matarese, whose work on display in the room is entitled Marinella. The subject sits frontal in the foreground while is holding in her hands a twig with a few wither flowers.

Domestic quietness (The green light) by Domenico De VannaMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

This and other paintings are one of the rare figurative works of her youthful period characterised by the choice of the female subject soaked in melancholy.

Figure of a woman by Alberto ChianconeMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

During a meeting, the artist stated that the model depicted was one of her colleague who attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples with her.

Self-portrait by Laura Caravita di SirignanoMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

The collection continues to grow up.

Detail of a procession by Carmela MaestroniMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

In fact, only between 2018 and 2020 we received 30 donations,

The visit by Renata BocchettiMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

half of which portray the female figure in various aspects.

Young girl by Carlo StriccoliMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

There are many connections scattered throughout the city between museums and private collectors

Myriam by Francesco JeraceMusap - Fondazione "Circolo Artistico Politecnico" Onlus

such as this splendid marble bust of Francesco Jerace, Victa, of which there are plaster in the Civic Museum of Castel Nuovo and a terracotta, of smaller proportions in a private collection.

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