The Fruit Seller

The Fruit Seller, 1900
Giuseppe Signorini (1857–1932)
Watercolour, Bodycolour & Gum Arabic on Paper
BORGM 1995.66
Image © Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum

Dining Room 

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The Fruit Seller

This painting may correspond to the work by Italian artist Signorini praised by the critics at the Paris Salon of 1900. It captures, with astonishing photorealist technique, a Moorish woman with her hand in mid gesture and facial expression apparently in speech.

Signorini’s colours are typically luminous and bright and are set off by the dark red background of damasked fabric. The tray of fruit is a triumph in still life observation.

Born in Rome in 1857, Signorini studied at the Bella Arti under the famous Roman artist Aurelio Tiratelli. He organised festivals and masquerades in Rome with orientalist themes and guests dressed in eastern tunics and turbans parading the streets. He owned a renowned collection of Islamic objects including clothes, rugs and furniture which were often used in his paintings. During his career he maintained studios in both Paris and Rome.

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