Sinibaldo Tordi was born in Rome in 1876. He was trained under the Spanish painter Salvador Sánchez Barbudo (1857-1917), who was deeply attached to the aesthetic approach introduced by Mariano Fortuny (1838-1874). The young painter was therefore immediately introduced to an elegant and luminous genre painting, made up of small virtuoso touches with the tip of the brush.
Eighteenth-century costume: an immediate market success
The neo-eighteenth-century reconstruction became the favourite direction of the Roman painter, who achieved immediate market success in the wake of the fashion introduced among wealthy European collectors by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891). As already mentioned, the language of Mariano Fortuny and his painting of casacones, named after the clothes of 18th-century Spanish aristocrats, also played an important role in Sinibaldo Tordi’s training.
Tordi, a skilful interpreter of this frivolous and pleasurable genre, enriched by a luminous palette and a painting made up of details that embellish drawing rooms, music rooms and sumptuous luncheons, fits perfectly into the ranks of the artists of the elegant and sumptuous 19th century, who did not achieve success at exhibitions, but made inroads above all with collectors.
Forays into portraiture and Orientalist scenes
He continued this style into the first decades of the 20th century, adding even more detail to his imaginative genre pictures. Curious anecdotes and a skilful ability to reproduce fabrics, costumes and objects from the 18th century also led him to exhibit at the Paris Salon in 1913.
Although his production is mainly known for this genre of costume reconstructions, he is also a skilful portraitist, as can be seen in the Portrait of Signor Merlini which he exhibited at the 1922 Spring Florentine Exhibition.
The very clear light, the light and airy touch of the brush that leaves small chromatic flickers on the frivolous canvases characterises works such as Pettegolezzo, Lezione di piano, Concertino, La dama nel parco, Una partita a scacchi, Incontro a corte and Le nozze. Also important are Sinibaldo Tordi’s various forays into Orientalist subjects, always treated with a fatuous gaze and a sumptuous and varied palette, such as Giapponesina. Active until the 1940s, he died in Rome in 1955.