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Giulio Rosati

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Giulio Rosati

( Roma 1858 - 1917 )


    Giulio Rosati

    Trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, he had Sicilian Dario Querci and Francesco Podesti as teachers. Then he learned from Luis Alvarez Catala ‘, an emulator of Mariano Fortuny, the multicolored painting that was very fashionable at the time. With this new style he devoted himself to the composition of neo-eighteenth-century works and in particular of orientalist scenes of great international success.

    Profile: Giulio Rosati is an exponent of that generation of Roman painters, which had established itself internationally in the last thirty years of the nineteenth century for the virtuosic use of watercolor on the basis of the lesson of Mariano Fortuny and thanks to the mediation of influential merchant Adolphe Goupil.

    A common feature was the lively and lively colors, the choice of genre subjects in costume, the care in the execution of details and the sometimes considerable size of the support. Masterfully painted are also the details of this work depicting a carpet merchant, who presents his wares to two patrons, a man with his head covered by a colored shemagh stopped by a yellow and blue agal and life marked by a lively sash and a veiled woman dressed in odalisque trousers, against the backdrop of an Arab city with traditional low houses.

    The author lingers on the carpet and on the details of the garments with precious embroideries up to the buttons that close the man’s shirt, rendered with bright colors that contrast with the more nuanced tones of the background. Undisputed specialist of the orientalist genre, alongside which genre themes in eighteenth-century costume appear more rarely in his production, Rosati stages an Arab world populated by proud Berber knights and handsome odalisques.

    Recurring is the theme of the market, which allows you to show off skills in the description of the goods, and the harem richly furnished with meticulously hatched carpets. It is an Arab world recreated with grace and elegance in harmony with the success that the mysterious and wild East had met since the beginning of the century thanks to masters of French romanticism, from Eugène Delacroix to Horace Vernet and Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres .

    The rich array of photographs, images and objects available thanks to the numerous study trips made by Western explorers and diplomatic expeditions, freed the genre from any romantic tension during the second half of the nineteenth century to make room for the documentation of customs and life newspaper of Arab countries by traveling artists such as Jean-Léon Gérôme, John Frederich Lewis, Alberto Pasini and Cesare Biseo.

    The great fortune of the genre, but also the immense iconographic heritage, therefore allows the orientalists active between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to revive in the studio an east never visited personally, just as the contemporary Emilio Salgari told an exotic and distant world based exclusively on the descriptions and accounts of travelers, in a continuous balance between documentation and fairytale narration, free of too realistic elements.


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