RAFFAELLO SORBI (Florence 1844 - 1931)
A Terrace overlooking the Arno
Oil on canvas
51.6 x 67 cm (20 ¹/₈ x 26 ³/₈ inches)
Signed and dated on the right Raf. Sorbi
Provenance: Sotheby’s Parke Bernet, New York, 7 October 1977, lot 157; Sotheby’s, New York, 29 October 1981, lot 87; Richard Green, London; Finarte, Milan, 12 December 1985, lot 121.
Description: This work, dated 1874, is a product of the period when Sorbi was bound to the celebrated Paris merchant Goupil by a seven-year contract (from 1872 to 1879) designed to steer his output in the direction of the Anglo-French taste for the revisitation of genre themes in a historical setting. Inspired by the “troubadour” style with its idealised vision of the Middle Ages, the painting focuses on a romantic encounter between three young girls busy with their embroidery and two young beaux eager to serenade them. The romantic episode in the foreground is set against the backdrop of a landscape in deep perspective, evoking an ideal 14th century city with its towers in silhouette.