Georges Rouault

The Italian Woman

1938

Original title
L'Italienne
Medium
Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions
Support: 651 x 498 mm
frame: 1086 x 960 x 56 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Purchased 1949
Reference
N05906

Display caption

Little is known about the subject of this work, but the painting is similar in style and composition to a number of frontal views of the heads of male and female clowns painted by the artist in 1937 and 1938. Rouault rarely painted portraits, preferring instead to use the human figure as a symbol of certain moral qualities or, more generally, to express the sufferings of mankind. The woman in this painting wears modern dress, but the treatment of her head distantly recalls traditional religious pictures, particularly Byzantine icons.

Gallery label, August 2004

Catalogue entry

Georges Rouault 1871-1958

N05906 L'Italienne (Italian Woman) 1938
Inscribed 'G Rouault.' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 19 5/8 (65 x 50)
Purchased from the Galerie Bing (Knapping Fund) 1949
Prov: With Ambroise Vollard, Paris (purchased from the artist); with Galerie Bing, Paris
Repr: Arts, 10-16 July 1952, p.1; Studio, CXLVII, 1954, p.6

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.666, reproduced p.666

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