Dancers in the dressing room, c. 1895

by Arnaldo Ferraguti



DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 17.50 x 25.12 in./44.45 x 63.80 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: chalk and pastel on paper laid down on card

Catalogue No: 3891 Categories: , , ,

Depicting five young ballerinas, Dancers in the dressing room, c.1895 is a prime example of Arnaldo Ferraguti painting a subject he loved. This soft yet vibrant piece shows the young girls getting ready to dance, concentrating hard on their actions. Ferraguti’s use of bright colours lends a lovely sense of warmth to the composition.

The dressing room is drawn softly and hazily to direct attention to the figures, who have been outlined faintly in black. The central figure helps one of the other girls to get dressed, inviting the viewer to question the relationship between these children and imbuing the scene with a comforting quality.


Private Collection, United Kingdom

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Born in Ferrara, mid-way between Bologna and Venice in Northern Italy, in 1862 Ferraguti went on to train at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples under the leadership of Domenico Morelli. He rose to the fore of Neopolitan art in 1891, winning the prize Fumagalli at the Triennale di Brera with the huge painting “At Spade”.

His social realist subject matter was influenced by Jules Bastien Lepage in France, who in turn had worked alongside the other great exponent of the pastel, Leon L’hermitte.