Georges Rouault
The Italian Woman 1938

Artwork details

Georges Rouault 1871–1958
The Italian Woman
Date 1938
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 651 x 498 mm
frame: 1086 x 960 x 56 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1949
Not on display

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.

August 2004

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