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 Antonio Mancini  (1852 - 1930)

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Lived/Active: Italy      Known for: impoverished children, circus performers and musician figure painting, chiaroscuro

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Ad Code: 3
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from Auction House Records.
An Italian boy in a vineyard (recto); Study of a boy (verso)
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Antonio Mancini (14 November 1852 – 28 December 1930) was an Italian painter. He was born in Rome and showed precocious ability as an artist. At the age of twelve, he was admitted to the Institute of Fine Arts in Naples, where he studied under Domenico Morelli (1823–1901), a painter of historical scenes who favored dramatic chiaroscuro* and vigorous brushwork, and Filippo Palizzi (1818–1899), a landscape painter. Mancini developed quickly under their guidance, and in 1872, he exhibited two paintings at the Paris Salon*.

Mancini worked at the forefront of the Verismo movement, an indigenous Italian response to 19th-century Realist aesthetics. His usual subjects included children of the poor, juvenile circus performers, and musicians he observed in the streets of Naples. His portrait of a young acrobat, Saltimbanco, (1877–78) captures the fragility of the boy whose impoverished childhood is spent entertaining pedestrian crowds.

While in Paris in the 1870s, Mancini met Impressionists* Edgar Degas and Édouard Manet. He became friends with John Singer Sargent, who famously pronounced Mancini to be the greatest living painter. His mature works show a brightened palette with an impasto* technique on canvas and a bold command of pastels on paper.

In 1881, Mancini suffered a disabling mental illness. He settled in Rome in 1883 for twenty years, then moved to Frascati, where he lived until 1918. During this period of Mancini's life, he was often destitute and relied on the help of friends and art buyers to survive. After the First World War, his living situation stabilized, and he achieved a new level of serenity in his work.

Mancini died in Rome in 1930 and buried in the Basilica Santi Bonifacio e Alessio on the Aventine Hill.

His painting, The Poor Schoolboy, exhibited in the Salon of 1876, is in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. Its realist subject matter and dark palette are typical of his early work. Paintings by Mancini also may be seen in major Italian museum collections, including Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea in Rome, and Museo Civico-Galleria d'Arte Moderna in Turin. The Philadelphia Art Museum holds fifteen oil paintings and three pastels by Mancini that were a gift of New York art dealer Vance N. Jordan.

The first exhibition in the U.S. devoted exclusively to Mancini's work was at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 20, 2007 – January 20, 2008.

Source:
"Antonio Mancini", Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antonio_Mancini (Accessed 6/2/2013)

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Biography from Claude Aguttes:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Antonio Mancini was only twelve years old when he was admitted to the Academy of Fine Arts. He mainly painted genre and portraits of girls, acrobats and musicians. In 1873, he left Naples for Paris where he befriended Degas and Manet.  He moved several times, back to Naples, then  London and Paris, and then Italy again. He died in 1930 in Rome.

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