Offered by: Mayfair Gallery
39 South Audley Street London W1K 2PP , England Call Seller 44.207.491.3435


A painting of Sappho by Ettore Forti

$ 20,000
  • Description
    A painting of Sappho by Ettore Forti
    Italian, c.1900
    Frame: Height 85cm, width 38cm, depth 2.5cm
    Canvas: Height 73cm, with 26.5cm, depth 2.5cm
    This excellent portrait painting depicts Sappho, the famous Ancient Greek lyric poet and musician, and was executed by Ettore Forti, a prolific and much-enjoyed Italian painter of Classical subjects, active in Rome around the turn of the twentieth century. Sappho, who came from Lesbos, or Mytilene, an island in the North East Aegean, has remained a popular figure in Western European artistic culture ever since the seventh and sixth centuries BC despite the fragmentary nature of her poetry: an acclaimed poet in antiquity, a popular subject for artists in the Early Modern period, and a cultural icon in contemporary times.
    Here, Forti has depicted Sappho in a vast, grand, Classical setting. Standing on temple steps, holding a kithara and performing, purely for the sake of the viewer it would seem, and she is placed in front of a large life-size marble frieze in the background - Forti often placed as much emphasis on his settings as he did his figures. She wears a long red dress, and flowers are strewn beneath her feet. Forti was a prolific painting of works such as this, and is often likened to Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema; the popularity of the latter attests to the demand and appreciation for highly realistic Classical works around this time, against the trend for increasingly modern and avant-garde art, in the early 20th century.
    The work is set in a giltwood frame, and is signed, as are virtually all of Forti's works 'E Forti / Roma.' Provenance: Sotheby's New York sale 26 May 1993, Lot 322
    Artist/Maker: Ettore Forti
  • More Information
    Documentation: Signed
    Origin: Italy
    Period: 1900-1919
    Materials: Oil-on-canvas.
    Creation Date: 1900
    Styles / Movements: Other
    Dealer Reference #: 17159
    Incollect Reference #: 580217
  • Dimensions
    W. 14.96 in; H. 33.46 in; D. 0.98 in;
    W. 38 cm; H. 85 cm; D. 2.5 cm;
Message from Seller:

Mayfair Gallery is a leading gallery in the field of art and antiques, holding a large collection of unique pieces for sale. The breadth of the gallery’s collection is wide, and includes items from a range of periods, styles and geographical origins, as well as works by famous artists and craftsmen. The main focus of the gallery’s collection is, however, on items produced during the 19th and early 20th century.

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