Bellini: forse ritratto del marito

Laura Bellini

(Ancona 1915-Rome 1976) 

Portrait of a Man 

Oil on panel, 50.5 × 40 cm 

Provenance: Rome, private collection 


A rare work by this artist, considered one of the last exponents of the Roman School. Contributing to the Mayoral exhibitions of the years 1937, 1938 and 1940 as well as the Quadriennale of 1939 (Renato Breda, 1890-1940. Artisti e MostreRepertorio di pittori e incisori italiani in esposizioni nazionali, Rome 2001, p. 60; Marco Severini, Bellini, Laura, in Dizionario biografico delle donne marchigiane, 1815-2018, ed. by L. Pupilli, M. Severini, Ancona 2018, pp. 32 ss.), Bellini’s work was described as follows by Lorenza Trucchi, writing for example in Momento Sera (24 April 1966): “there is an inevitable reference to the Roman School of which this painter is, in a certain sense, one of the last heirs: MafaiScipione and the first dazzling expressionist Gentilini, are somewhat ideal masters of this painting heightened by romantic flashes and chromatic frenzy well adapted to render the climate of an eternally baroque Rome, lifted by the reddish light of her fiery sunsets.” Then in 1998, recalling her link with the painter Orfeo TamburiTrucchi again underlined her use of expression in the Roman School, “of which her baroque-style and magmatic painting was a successful if extreme example.”  

Very likely earlier, by quite some time, than these quotations, the painting presented here is chronologically in harmony with the sources mentioned, around the mid-thirties, for its materic and earthy aspect, recalling MafaiScipione but also Carena, however with a specific visual vagueness in the brushstrokes that captures the real, underlining the sentimental languor of a modern figure, shown in the classical iconography of melancholy by the hand supporting the head.

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