Skip to Content
Material and technique
oil on cardboard mounted on canvas
76,5 x 55,5 cm
Augusta Monferini
The figure, illuminated by the touches of light of her blouse, stands out in black against a lighter background with vivid immediacy. The woman’s beautiful unruly locks are shaded towards chestnut brown; the artist succeeds in rendering the softness and movement that animates her hair with a shiver of vitality that is communicated to her smiling face. As in all his portraits, Mancini imparts to the subject a feeling of life with a breath of spiritual actuality, a dynamism of the mind that manifests itself through the expansive working of the light as though from within the rich impasto. The figure, in profile, presents a barely sketched out shoulder extending into an arm suggested by rapid brushstrokes which throw into relief the luminous glimpse of the elbow in the foreground. The lower part of the painting is intentionally left vague, although the form is solid and well placed within the space. The broad, almost gestural brushwork of the background is balanced by the short, nervous brushstrokes of the flesh of the face and the glistening black tones of the hair. After the first decade of the twentieth century, Mancini’s painting enters a third and final phase opening boldly towards new experimentation. Gripped by a sort of “Dionysian frenzy”, the artist gives himself over to a feverish decomposition of the impasto, impressing upon his images an outpouring of dynamic energy.
Related Themes