- Emmanuel costa (french/italian, 1833-1921) interior scene painting, grandparents favorite
- Signed upper right corner e costa
- Upper stretcher bar inscribed e costa forenza via dei robbia 61, italia
- Item # 1402kjw25-z
this is a positively charming antique painting in oil on canvas, capturing an interior scene of domestic life in nineteenth century italy. Titled on a brass plaque in the center of the intricate gilded pierced gesso frame grandparents favorite, the scene depicts a mother and her daughter spending time with both grandparents, the young girl clearly the center of attention as she tries on grandpas reading glasses to see the world through his eyes. He holds out a newspaper for her to test the spectacles in action. There is a precious familiarity in this piece, emmanuel costa working to capture a youthful moment stressing the fulfillment of life found in the little things. Every aspect of the scene speaks of joy, despite less than prosperous conditions. The detail throughout is simply excellent, every element captured with clarity and appropriate scale. The light source is undisclosed, mostly leftward from the scene with soft and consistent shadows lending a crisp realism to the scene.
retaining its original lining and stretchers, the upper stretcher bar is inscribed on the reverse by the artist e. Costa forenza, via dei robbia 61 -- italia.
a large and impressive work, striking in every way and well preserved throughout, this is a precious painting for anyone passionate about genre scenes of the late 19th century - particularly scenes with a story. It is a work that becomes more interesting and conversational as you look on it. Work by emmanuel costa is highly sought after, his works regularly commanding high four and low five figures at auction. A most recent example is a classical work by costa of a classical scene on april 12th, 2014 (sloans and kenyon, bethesda, md: lot 1016) selling for $7,768 [inc. Buyer's premium].
born in menton in 1833, emmanuel costa studied under paul delaroche (1797-1856) and gaetano ferri in paris, largely working out of turin and nice for the majority of his career. Following this he travelled to paris and venice where he painted the same views as canaletto (1697-1768) and guardi (1712-1793). He was a prolific and talented watercolourist who produced not only numerous religious works for various churches, but also decorative frescoes for villas, castles and private buildings, as well as public buildings such as the opera in nice. He painted lots of views of nice and the surrounding countryside. He would make preliminary en plein air sketches of the sites and architecture, then on the basis of these drawings he painted detailed and accurate watercolours in his studio.as international tourism grew during this period, these views found a ready market amongst the aristocracy and the burgeoning middle classes as nice was regarded as one of the cities to be visited during the gand tour. His cityscapes aimed to show not only the daily life but also some topographical aspects of nice. He received a teaching appointment at the academy of fine arts of turin. (source: bonhams, benezit)
- E. Benezit dictionary of artists, vol. Iv, grund, 2006, p. 11
- Popular 19th century painting: a dictionary of european genre painters, hook and poltimore, p. 212 noting italian origin; one of his classical works included on p. 218
- Measurements: 43" wide x 33 1/8" high (frame); 31 1/2" wide x 21 3/4" high (canvas)
- Condition report: obvious chip loss lower right quadrant (beneath table cloth); we can have this expetly restored for you upon request for a very reasonable charge, but the process can take several months depending on the schedule of our conservator. Surface has been recently cleaned and colors are vibrant and alive. Frame is regilded with minor cracks and chips throughout. Matte spot to left of standing figures head. Original lining on original stretchers. Frame is possibly later. [under uv] numerous speck touch ups: to left of standing figure, her face, grandfathers face in a few specks, edge of tablecloth; other pigments fluoresce, particularly in the upper right quadrant, much of it a bit hidden by the bright green of the recent varnish, but seem to be untouched.