“The Torn Sleeve” by Giacomo Favretto, chronist of everyday Venetian life, is up for sale at the 19th Century Paintings auction on 9 November 2020.
In 1878, when the present work was painted, Giacomo Favretto participated at the World’s Fair in Paris. He had become friends with Guglielmo Ciardi (1842-1917), and both men sent two paintings to Paris. He rarely left Venice during his short life but he did go with Ciardi to Paris to see the World’s Fair. There, he found a source of new inspiration, including the use of lighter brushstrokes and a clearer palette. The present lot was painted in July 1878, just after his return from Paris.
This work makes reference to another painting with the same theme, “La venditrice di polli”, from 1878. The artist made a few changes, among them the chicken in the foreground, but the young models are the same. The model depicted here is a Venetian girl with a large straw hat, knitting in front of a henhouse. The wood panel in the background is also visible in another work, “L’amore tra i polli” from 1878.
Venetian-born Giacomo Favretto studied under Michelangelo Grigoletti (1801-1870) and Pompeo Molmenti (1819-1894) at the Academy of Fine Arts of Venice. He was known for his depictions of everyday Venetian life, as well as for portraying the lives of the local people. He is one of the most innovative Venetian artists of the second half of the 19th century, and over the course of his short career, he became a hugely successful painter.