Portrait d’élégante au théâtre, 1925

by Virgilio Costantini


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 16.1 x 13.0 in./41.0 x 33.0 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed and dated lower left
MEDIUM: Oil on board

Catalogue No: 4987 Categories: ,

Portrait d’élégante au théâtre encapsulates the height and glamour of Parisian society at the turn of the century. This beautiful painting depicts a sophisticated lady in Paris, who has dressed in her finery for an evening at the theatre. Costantini has paid exquisite attention to detail to her fine clothing, with her silky nude undergarment giving her the appearance of wearing little beneath her coat.


Private Collection, France

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Costantini began his studies in Venice where he was exposed to the works of Paul Besnard, Lucien Simon and, most importantly, John Singer Sargent. Under the influence of these artists he would copy their fluid brush work and dynamic palette. Costantini has used these brushstrokes to recreate the folds of the woman’s elegant dress combined with short, sharp, finer strokes for the delicacy of her fur stole.
The woman’s direct gaze gives the impression of her confidence and stature in society. She is the epitome of a ‘modern woman’.
Costantini moved to Paris in 1906 and it was there that the present work was created, during one of the most successful periods of Costantini’s career. After the success of Le Cerisier, which drew international praise, he was made a member of the Société Nationale des Beaux Arts.

During the early part of the 20th Century the artist became interested in the freshness and transparent effects of watercolours. This sensitivity to tone and shading is translated to his oils, the layers of paint, some mutedand pale, others more vibrant applied to achieve a certain tonal effect.

If the artwork is up to £25,00 in value, and the artist is still alive, Trinity House can arrange a 0% interest loan through the Own Art scheme. Own Art is a Creative United initiative supported by Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Arts Council of Northern Ireland. Some other restrictions apply see…



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